A&E Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

A&E Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

A new year, more STORAGE WARS for A&E.  The month saw stacked episodes of the hit series 3 nights of the week – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.  January 2012 saw the return of DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER to the primetime lineup.  Monday nights continue to skew more female with HOARDERS and INTERVENTION.  On nights when storage and isn’t on the menu, it’s crime.

JANUARY PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / January 2012 vs. January 2011 (% Change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-21%

-31%

-29%

Tuesday 8-11pm

82%

106%

105%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-2%

-10%

-9%

Thursday 8-11pm

-14%

-13%

-17%

Friday 8-11pm

-32%

-25%

-29%

Saturday 8-11pm

34%

23%

41%

Sunday 8-11pm

-10%

-27%

-22%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

3%

-2%

1%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Continuing their positive growth at the end of 2011, A&E began 2012 with a very positive January.  Overall household numbers are up from what was a great December, which followed "the best November in network history." (According to network press.)

January 2012's primetime lineup remained dominated by hit series STORAGE WARS (17 of the top 20 telecasts for the month.)  The month also saw the debut of SHIPPING WARS, which also earned a spot among the top telecasts for the month.  The back-to-back premiere on Tuesday, January 10 averaged 3 million total viewers (according to network press).  Tuesdays in January saw big increases compared to January of 2011 - up 82% in overall households, and up in the triple digits among key demos.  Overall, STORAGE WARS is up 16% from 2011 - this genre isn't going anywhere but up.

January also saw the return of DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER on Wednesday nights, with premieres scoring above-average for the network.  DOG did see moderate drops from last year, but was among the top telecasts for the month.

Other staples are fairing a little less strongly.  HOARDERS and INTERVENTION, Monday night's lineup, struggled to hit average this month.  The night is down overall in households, and among key demographics.  We can speculate that A&E will be in the market for the next take on these genres, with programming featuring real people struggling with an addiction.

Thursday's crime-heavy lineup (THE FIRST 48, AFTER THE FIRST 48, BEYOND SCARED STRAIGHT) scored above-average numbers and saw a nice boost from December's numbers.  Friday was up as well, as DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER took over for CRIMINAL MINDS.

Saturdays also saw a nice boost from last year (thanks to more STORAGE WARS), while Sunday's CRIMINAL MINDS lineup continues to falter compared to both last month and last year.

Overall, a positive way beginning to 2012 for A&E.  Viewers are hooked, and strong programming choices, a consistent schedule, and quick decisions have driven the network into the top 10 cable nets.  STORAGE WARS was the driving force for ’11, as it is the perfect storm of plot + characters + stakes + reveal = all the key elements of a great show that viewers like to watch.  Look for more similar programming choices in the rest of 2012.

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