Open main menu

Pivot was an American digital cable and satellite television network owned by Participant Media. The channel, targeted at young adults between 18 and 34 years old, debuted on August 1, 2013.[1][2][3] The channel ceased operations on October 31, 2016.[4]

Pivot Logo + Tagline.png
LaunchedAugust 1, 2013; 5 years ago (2013-08-01)
ClosedOctober 31, 2016; 2 years ago (2016-10-31)
Owned byParticipant Media
SloganIt's Your Turn
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaUnited States
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California


The launch of Pivot was announced on March 27, 2013, and is described as a "disruptive TV" service, focusing on social advocacy.[5] The channel took over the space held by two Participant Media–owned channels, Halogen TV and the Documentary Channel, giving Pivot an initial subscriber base of about 40 million cable and satellite television homes. The channel launched on August 1 at 6 a.m. with a rendition of the song that launched MTV in 1981 (coincidentally, also on August 1), "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles, by several indie music artists, followed by a brief introduction to Pivot by Participant Media founder Jeffrey Skoll, and the first program, the 2010 documentary ReGeneration.[6]

With the launch, Pivot became the first television channel to offer broadband-only subscriptions that allows live streaming of the linear channel and video on demand offerings without requiring a subscription to a pay television service.[3][7] It was later announced that NeuLion had been selected to design and deliver the new cable network's downloadable interactive app which allows Pivot's content to be delivered to multiple digital devices. It offers its entertainment programming, live and on-demand, to authenticated pay TV subscribers and broadband-only subscribers.[8]

On August 17, 2016, Participant Media announced that the channel would cease broadcasting by early 2017, citing low ratings, small viewing audiences, and an overall shift away from television by Participant under current CEO David Linde; the channel's last day of operation was later confirmed to be on October 31. The channel shut down on October 31 at 6 am Eastern Daylight Time; the last programs on the network were five consecutive showings of the film Good Night, and Good Luck from 7PM on the 30th onward until the shuttering (the film choice was likely a nod to the final words spoken on Pivot's half-predecessor, Documentary Channel.) No signoff message was given at the end (other than a commercial thanking viewers for watching and telling them what they watch does make a difference, having been run over the last few weeks of the channel's broadcast, being shown as a split screen during the film's end credits); rather, the channel merely faded to black after the end of the film, shortly after replaced with a slide from the cable services notifying viewers of the closure.[4][9][10]


Programming seen on Pivot included original programs like HitRecord on TV, a variety show hosted by series co-creator Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the reality-based talk show Raising McCain, hosted by blogger Meghan McCain.[2] Will, a period drama about a young William Shakespeare, was also announced when the channel launched, but was later put on hold.[11] The show ultimately aired one season on TNT in 2017. Pivot was also the U.S. television home of the Australian comedy-drama Please Like Me, a show created and written by Josh Thomas, which had been co-produced by Pivot and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation since the second season.

Other shows include Jersey Strong, a docusoap that chronicles the lives of two families from parallel universes,[12] the late night current events talk show TakePart Live, and the anime series, C-Control, which premiered on October 5, 2013.[13] It was Pivot's only anime program, but not the show's North American television debut; the series originally made its debut on the Funimation Channel in January 2013. On January 29, 2015, Pivot premiered the UK series, Fortitude, on the same date as Sky Atlantic.[14]

In 2014,[15] Pivot launched Human Resources, a reality TV series providing a behind-the-scenes and at times humorous look at day-to-day operations at TerraCycle headquarters.[16]

Other programs seen on the channel included acquired shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Farscape, Friday Night Lights, Little Mosque on the Prairie, The Operatives, Veronica Mars, and live programs and documentaries produced in partnership with Rolling Stone and Noticias Univision.[17]


  1. ^ "Wake Up, Kids: Disruptive TV Is Here Via Participant Media's Pivot Cabler", Variety, March 27, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Participant Introduces 'Pivot' TV Cable Network, First Programming Slate". The Hollywood Reporter. March 27, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Upfronts 2013: Participant Media's Cable Network Named 'Pivot'". Broadcasting & Cable. March 27, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Rainey, James (August 17, 2016). "Participant Media Shutting Down Its Pivot TV Channel (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  5. ^ New cable network pivots toward social change, USA Today, March 27, 2013.
  6. ^ Cummings, Andrew (2 November 2013). "Documentary Channel Pivots to Pivot". Retrieved 9 September 2016 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ Participant Media Starts New TV Network, Pivot, AdWeek, March 27, 2013.
  8. ^ "NeuLion's TV Everywhere Platform to Power New Downloadable, Interactive App From Pivot, Participant Media's New Network Targeting Millennials". Marketwire. July 29, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "Pivot On-Air Schedule |". October 28, 2016. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  10. ^ Pivot Shut down 6 AM EDT in the Morning on October 31, 2016
  11. ^ Poggi, Jeanine (April 16, 2014). "Pivot Upfront: Greenlights Drama With Climate-Change at Core". Advertising Age. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  12. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 26, 2013). "Pivot Announces Premiere Dates for New Shows Including 'Takepart Live', 'Raising McCain', 'Jersey Strong', & 'HitRECord on TV!'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  13. ^ "Pivot On-Air Schedule". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  14. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (December 19, 2014). "Pivot Sets Jan. 29 Premiere for Stanley Tucci Drama 'Fortitude'". Variety. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  15. ^ "Human Resources". 8 August 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2016 – via IMDb.
  16. ^ "Watch Human Resources on Pivot (Promoted)". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  17. ^ Poggi, Jeanine (March 27, 2013). "Meet Pivot, Participant Media's New Cable Channel for Millennials". Retrieved August 1, 2013.