R.I.P. Chiller: NBC Universal to Shut Down Horror Channel

The television landscape is changing. More and more families are “cutting the cord” by abandoning the old cable and satellite model. With the invention of niche and genre streaming services, people no longer feel like they need to be burdened with a two-or-three year contract that forces them to pay for channels that they have never heard of, let alone watched. This has, in turn, caused cable companies and media conglomerates to start trimming channels away to make their packages smaller, cheaper and more attractive to carriers. In a move that is disappointing, if not a little expected, NBCUniversal has announced that they will be shutting down Chiller effective January 1st.

Started in 2007, Chiller has been one of the only horror-centric channels offered by cable providers. Not all customers knew exactly where it landed in the guide, but true horror fans loved the channel for it’s diversity and selection of programming. The channel aired mostly existing Universal horror properties, but they did eventually venture into original scripted programming with 2016’s Slasher. The series was a moderate success, but the rights to the second season were purchased by Netlflix. Chiller also produced films such as Lifeforce and SiREN, which aired alongside series like Fear Factor, Tales From the Crypt, The Twilight Zone and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

   
Chiller TV- Slasher
Originally airing in 2016, Slasher was Chiller’s only original scripted series.

Many fans point out that Chiller was made obsolete by Shudder and other horror streaming services that we now have available to us. While this is may be partly true, there is a major distinction between what Shudder offers and what we are losing with Chiller. Shudder is a destination site or application for horror fans. They offer Shudder TV, which is a curated experience much like Chiller is, but it’s not something that a non-horror-fan is going to stumble across while channel surfing. Without Chiller being a part of television packages, there are 40 million fewer household in this country that have access to horror film and shows. Shudder is an amazing service that every horror fan should be subscribed to, but how many young fans are we going to miss converting to the cause without Chiller?

So, grab your Ecto-Coolers and pour one out for our friends over at Chiller. We were lucky enough to have a decade of spine tingling programming that exposed many to the genre. How do you feel about everyone’s favorite horror channel being shut down? Join our Facebook Group and let us know!

Tyler Liston

Purveyor of fine books, films and records by day; Mediocre (but improving) Dad by night.