Breathing Room for Oxygen

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Digital-cable networks may think they can launch for less than $100 million, but making it as an analog channel costs far more.

One of the last to try it, Oxygen, has burned through more than $500 million to get to 50 million homes. Getting distribution has been a tough slog. But Oxygen Media chairman and CEO Geraldine Laybourne says her company will finally be cash-positive next year. "We’ve made it through the hard part," said Laybourne last week.

Oxygen jettisoned its early focus of coupling TV with the Internet to concentrate on TV. But it still has a tech edge. Laybourne says the network is working on video-on-demand offerings of "evergreen" programs rather than repeats of its originals.

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