Food Network has a robust inventory of recognizable titles that it effectively rotates through the schedule. The network doesn’t strip across the week, but has created stacks for most nights. Mondays and Fridays are driven by Guy Fieri’s DINERS, DRIVE-INS AND DIVES, Tuesday is competition programs for women -- CHOPPED and/or CUPCAKE WARS, Wednesday is balanced male/female reality RESTAURANT IMPOSSIBLE, Thursdays feature CHOPPED again, and on Sundays big-stakes studio based cooking competitions reign. Saturdays are filled with a different program each week.
JUNE 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live + SD Primetime Ratings Comparison: June 2012 vs.June 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
JUNE 2012: Food Network has been working towards streamlining its schedule, getting rid of the low-rated food fantasy shows and adding in fast-paced, high stakes competition. The results are paying off as primetime ratings climbed again this month, up 8% on women 25-54 vs. both last year and last month. The bottom-line gain is especially impressive in light of the double-digit drop on the best-rated night of the week, Sunday.
Despite Sunday’s 17% drop in women 25-54 ratings vs. last year, the night remains in a ratings class of its own. It draws 30% better ratings than the next highest rated night of the week (Tuesday for women, Friday for adults). The strong mix of dual-appeal food competition programming keeps the night fresh. This month’s FOOD NETWORK STAR led the way, and when that winner is determined a new competition series awaits.
Mondays and Fridays largely feature Guy Fieri in DINERS DRIVE-INS & DIVES. Despite the heavy load (47 eps this month), the program continues to gain traction, up 7% on adults 25-54 vs. both last year and last month. The program is not a ratings star on the line-up, with women 25-54 ratings below the primetme average. It is valuable for its dual appeal -- men balance the ratings and put it right near the adult 2-54 primetime average. It is also being used to introduce new shows; INVENTION HUNTERS was sandwiched into the stack on Mondays and MYSTERY DINERS was sandwiched in on Fridays. MYSTERY DINERS is doing well, gaining audience from its lead-in each week, topping the DINERS DRIVE INS & DIVES average and increasing 25-54 audience by 5% vs. last month. INVENTION HUNTERS is not looking as promising, losing audience from last month and coming in near the bottom of the ratings rankers.
With CHOPPED steering the ship, Tuesday and Thursday hold the strongest female skew - about 75% women. CUPCAKE WARS, CUPCAKE CHAMPIONS and SWEET GENIUS are good companions for the iconic competition series, as audience flow for each night holds together.
Wednesday’s RESTAURANT IMPOSSIBLE stack had a strong month, with Wednesday’s adult 25-54 ratings climbing 7% vs. last month and 42% vs. last year. The program attracts both men and women, giving HGTV its most balanced night of the week with a 48/52 male/female 25-54 skew.
This has been another strong month for The Food Network, as it benefits from its work in building a steady stream of well-developed franchises scheduled smartly though-out the week.