via AdvertisingAge
By Jeanine Poggi
January 18, 2017

Esquire Network is killing its linear cable TV channel and instead going straight to consumers with a digital channel.

The cable network will go dark this spring. An NBC Universal spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the network will be rebranded.

Esquire’s direct-to-consumer product will be available through Esquire.com. The spokeswoman declined to say whether it will be a paid subscription service or carry advertising.

Esquire Network, a partnership between NBC Universal and Hearst Magazines, took over Style network in September 2013, with the goal of reaching young, affluent men who have been traditionally hard to reach on TV.

While Esquire had expanded its ratings base and put up significantly higher numbers than its predecessor, it remained an also-ran. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Esquire in 2016 averaged just 141,000 primetime viewers, and while that was good for an 18% year-over-year lift above Style, its delivery in the key 18-to-49 demographic was underwhelming. The network last year averaged less than one-tenth of a ratings point among adults 18 to 49, putting it in the company of such low-flying niche channels as Pop, Reelz and Destination America.

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