The Parents Television Council is calling on A&E to offer a refund to cable subscribers who do not want to subsidize its FYI network, which will be premiering Seven Year Switch, a program featuring couples switching spouses and that will presumably encourage adultery, and which has aired other programming such as Married at First Sight.
“The virtually-unknown, virtually-unwatched and substantially-irrelevant FYI Network is set to premiere a show called Seven Year Switch. This program, which will be marketed to and rated as appropriate for children, is yet another desperate attempt by a behemoth-owned basic cable network – a network that is likely unable to survive in a true marketplace – to gain some sort of public awareness at any cost to its dignity and without any regard to the impact on our society, our children and our culture,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“FYI Network owner A&E is pulling a fast one on cable consumers. A&E-owned FYI Network was once called the Biography Channel. It rebranded itself into an entirely different product, all the while forcing cable consumers to pay for it. And we’re not talking chump-change here: according to industry estimates, A&E is able to charge cable subscribers between 10¢-15¢ per month, generating over $100 million in annual subscription fee revenue for FYI Network, regardless whether consumers want the network or not.
“The premise of Seven Year Switch is a reality show concept that goes too far, and is yet another example of why families and consumers should have Cable Choice - the ability to choose and pay for the cable networks they want. With the demise of A&E’s Neighbors with Benefits earlier this year, we would think that a clear message has been sent to the entertainment industry – and especially to the executive suite at A&E Networks – that there demand for this kind of programming is anemic.”
“At the very least, A&E should issue a refund to any cable subscriber who does not want to subsidize to its forced-bundled FYI Network on their cable bills.
“In the meantime, we will be contacting advertisers and asking them to carefully weigh any decision to associate their brands with the content of Seven Year Switch.”