Here’s some bad news for fans of Parks & Recreation marathons: According to Variety, the Esquire Network will be shutting down later this year, with all of its original content moving over to a “direct-to-consumer digital service” through the Esquire website. This comes after AT&T’s DirectTV and U-Verse services both dropped the Esquire Network last month, with negotiations to prevent Charter Communications from doing the same apparently not going so well. The Variety report says that Esquire lost a quarter of its subscribers when it was dropped by AT&T, and it would become “no longer viable” for owner NBCUniversal to keep it on the air if Charter were to do the same. So, rather than face that indignity, NBCUniversal has simply decided to pull the proverbial plug.
Variety adds that the network’s ratings were never good, but they did steadily increase every year since it launched in 2013. Still, no other companies were interested in buying it and it won’t be rebranded into something else, so it’s simply going to die. The Esquire Network will continue to broadcast “through the summer,” and Esquire’s digital platform will launch in the spring.