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, back up to 4 times a week in August, with appearances on additional nights.  Crime is the theme for the Thursday night lineup, which features THE FIRST 48, AFTER THE FIRST 48, and CAJUN JUSTICE.  Other reality originals air on Mondays and Fridays.  Sunday nights features A&E's scripted lineup - CRIMINAL MINDS, THE GLADES, and LONGMIRE.

AUGUST PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-24%

-35%

-33%

Tuesday 8-11pm

47%

44%

51%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-41%

-46%

-45%

Thursday 8-11pm

-26%

-26%

-27%

Friday 8-11pm

-10%

8%

5%

Saturday 8-11pm

-10%

-19%

-14%

Sunday 8-11pm

14%

23%

37%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-11%

-15%

-10%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Following an extremely strong summer, including the "most watched June in network history among adults 25-54, adults 18-49, and in total viewers" (AETN Press, 6/26/12), as well as a solid July, August was somewhat of a transitional month for A&E.  Overall HH viewers were down 11%, and key demos all took hits compared to July 2011.  Men 18-49 and Men 25-54 were down compared to last year 4% and 3%, respectively.   Female demos took even more significant hits.  A somewhat revamped schedule and tired reruns are the likely culprits for the losses.  Here's how it broke down, night-by night:

Mondays in August saw a 24% in overall viewers compared to last year.  DUCK DYNASTY was off the Monday night lineup in favor of a few scripted programs, including CRIMINAL MINDS and LONGMIRE, both of which failed to hit average.  INTERVENTION took over halfway through the month, which boosted viewers toward the later weeks of August.  The night was the weakest of the week for A&E.

Tuesday nights in August was one of the only nights of the week to see year-to-year growth.  Up 47% in overall HH viewers, and up significantly across both male and female demographics, the night was the second strongest of the week for the network.  A lineup of STORAGE WARS and SHIPPING WARS did the trick.  Premieres of STORAGE WARS more than doubled average, and 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 August saw more STORAGE WARS, paired with BARTER KINGS, SHIPPING WARS, and AMERICAN HOGGERS in the 10pm slot.  Numbers were down significantly from August 2011, as somewhat tired reruns weren't able to pull the same audiences as Tuesday's premieres.  Still, most the airings hit or exceeded average in both key male and female demographics.  AMERICAN HOGGERS audience grew from week to week as well, and the night remains among the strongest of the week.

Thursday's primetime lineup is crime-themed, featuring THE FIRST 48, AFTER THE FIRST 48, CAJUN JUSTICE, and various specials.  The night was down in overall viewers, falling 26% compared to last year, and numbers in both key male and female demos declined throughout the month.

Friday nights featured a lineup of stacked favorites including marathons of SHIPPING WARS, STORAGE WARS TEXAS, and BEYOND SCARED STRAIGHT.  Top performing was STORAGE WARS TEXAS, although numbers for Friday didn't hit average and the night saw a loss of 10% in overall viewers (although it was up in key younger demographics.)

Saturday's lineup in August was nearly all STORAGE WARS, SHIPPING WARS, and BARTER KINGS.  The night was down 10% compared to August 2011, though several airings of STORAGE WARS scored above-average numbers.

Sundays for A&E have become a focal point of the primetime lineup with high-profile scripted series.  In August, the primetime lineup of CRIMINAL MINDS, THE GLADES, and LONGMIRE gave way halfway through the month in favor of marathons of STORAGE WARS.  Premiere episodes of LONGMIRE are more than doubling average and every other telecast is scoring above-average numbers.  Though Sunday 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.

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