Oprah Winfrey Network Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Less than two years on the air, the Oprah Winfrey Network continues to evolve with a mixture of original series, syndicated acquisitions, and plenty of programs starring the woman in charge, Oprah herself. Primetime scheduling is consistent, which allows the audience to rely on what they’re tuning in to each day of the week.

Tuesdays and Sundays are Oprah nights, airing an assortment of programs starring the boss lady, including TOP 25 BEST OPRAH SHOW MOMENTS where viewers can re-live some of the greatest moments from the very popular OPRAH SHOW. Thursdays and Fridays run syndicated episodes of mystery-driven shows such as DATELINE and 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE.

Following a common method for many young networks, the reliable syndicated shows, along with the many Oprah-starring programs, are used as lead-ins to original series during the whole week. Themes such as self-help, food, and inspiration can be found in Oprah’s original shows guaranteeing the viewer a positive and rewarding experience while watching OWN.

OCTOBER 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

W18-49

W25-54

Monday 8-11pm

23%

-10%

9%

Tuesday 8-11pm

21%

30%

42%

Wednesday 8-11pm

33%

-17%

8%

Thursday 8-11pm

71%

0%

8%

Friday 8-11pm

25%

18%

8%

Saturday 8-11pm

70%

109%

131%

Sunday 8-11pm

41%

57%

71%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

41%

27%

38%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

This month, OWN keeps on it’s year-over-year winning streak and continues to hit it’s target female demos the hardest. Look at CableU’s October Network Ratings Graph. Original programming makes up the majority of the Top 20 individual telecasts for the month, while the acquisitions of UNDERCOVER BOSS and 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE slowly lose their popularity. The network does well at keeping consistency within their schedule either week to week or with nightly blocks. Either way, this consistency has helped keep OWN on an upswing for the whole year of 2012.

Mondays in October offered solid blocks of various shows including two weeks of UNDERCOVER BOSS. While high praises are being sung about the year-over-year growth for OWN, several nights were significantly down from September, Monday being one of them. The night showed double-digit losses in both female age demos.

Tuesday was back on the upswing when the network turned on its first weeknight of completely original programming. IYANLA, FIX MY LIFE has been gaining in popularity and repeats held a residency from 8-10PM followed by new episodes of OPRAH: WHERE ARE THEY NOW, which premiered on the 2nd of the month. Both female demos were up with women 25-54 the best at 13% up from September.

DATELINE ON OWN has been a constant on Wednesdays and this month was no different. 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE was rotated out from the 8PM position in the final week of the month to make room for repeats of OPRAH’S NEXT CHAPTER. The night showed a monthly loss among women 18-49, but women 25-54 was up a modest 8%.

Thursdays and Fridays held the same schedule as the last few months with solid blocks of 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE on Thursday and POLICE WOMEN on Friday. The most interesting rating statistic involved a non-target demo on Thursday when both male age demos showed significant monthly and yearly gains. On Fridays, while it had monthly losses in all categories, both male demos were up 200% from last year.

Annual gains were the best on both weekend days. These days are home to many episode premieres of original shows all growing in popularity. Most notable of these is SWEETIE PIES. Two Saturday premieres of this show were the highest rated individual telecasts for the network. In fact, the top 10 individual telecasts each aired on a weekend day.

In November, OPRAHS NEXT CHAPTER meets with superstar Justin Bieber for an in-depth interview and new original show MARRIED TO THE ARMY: ALASKA premieres on the 18th.

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