A&E Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

A&E Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

A&E's primetime lineup features 7 nights a week of original series in themed nights.  STORAGE WARS continues to be a dominating force in the schedule, but has been reduced to 3 nights a week (it was 4 earlier in the year), on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.  Other reality originals air on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Sunday nights features A&E's scripted lineup - CRIMINAL MINDS, THE GLADES, and LONGMIRE.

JULY PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live+SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / July 2012 vs. July 2011 (% Change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-28%

-30%

-28%

Tuesday 8-11pm

91%

62%

61%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-19%

-28%

-24%

Thursday 8-11pm

0%

-2%

-5%

Friday 8-11pm

-17%

13%

19%

Saturday 8-11pm

39%

35%

43%

Sunday 8-11pm

36%

10%

26%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

13%

6%

9%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

July's strong numbers are a positive indicator that A&E's programming strategy - and a few key risks - are paying off.  Following June the "most watched June in network history among adults 25-54, adults 18-49, and in total viewers" (AETN Press, 6/26/12), July was up 13% compared to last year.  In addition, Men 18-49 and Men 25-54 were both up from a month ago.  A slate of new shows, big series announcements (on both the scripted and unscripted side), AETN's flagship network, halfway through 2012, is clearly continue to grow with leaps and bounds.

Monday night over the last several months have been somewhat of a struggle for the network.  The night is down 28% in overall viewers, and also saw losses among all the key demographics.  A lineup of reruns of DUCK DYNASTY, FAMILY JEWELS, and BARTER KINGS never managed to hit average.  The top performing program of the month was an airing of Forrest Gump on July 23.  The night was among the weakest for the network in July.

For yet another month, Tuesday's primetime lineup saw significant year-to-year improvement.  Up 91% in overall viewers, Tuesday nights are one of the strongest of the week for A&E.  Stacked episodes of STORAGE WARS seem to always deliver for the network whenever they're scheduled, and premiere episodes nearly tripled the primetime average.  Numbers overall and across the key demos were all well over average as the storage genre continues to deliver both male and female viewers.

Wednesdays in July saw more STORAGE WARS, this month paired with BARTER KINGS in the 10pm slot (last month was DUCK DYNASTY.)  Though BARTER wasn't able to hold STORAGE's above-average numbers, the show saw growth throughout the month.  The night was among the strongest of the week and delivered average to above average in the key demos as well.

Thursday's primetime lineup is crime-themed, featuring THE FIRST 48, AFTER THE FIRST 48, CAJUN JUSTICE, and various specials.  The night was flat in overall viewers, but saw solid growth among the key female demographics.  Both THE FIRST 48 and AFTER THE FIRST 48 delivered solid above-average numbers, driving the night up for those audiences.

Friday nights featured a lineup of stacked favorites including marathons of DUCK DYNASTY, PARKING WARS, CAJUN JUSTICE, and BARTER KINGS.  Top performing was DUCK DYNASTY, although numbers for Friday didn't hit average and the night saw a loss of 17% in overall viewers (although it was up in key younger demographics.)

Saturday's lineup in July was nearly all STORAGE WARS, and the night was up 39% compared to a year ago.  Even bigger increases in key male demographics.

Sundays for A&E have become a focal point of the primetime lineup with high-profile scripted series.  Though the night skews the oldest for the network, it is also the strongest of the week, and saw solid year-to-year growth across the board.  Premiere episodes of LONGMIRE nearly double average.  It's clear that A&E's viewers are responding well to scripted programming, and based on new programming announcements made by the network, something that they are embracing whole-heartedly.

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