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Oprah Winfrey Network Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

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.

NOVEMBER 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

W18-49

W25-54

Monday 8-11pm

82%

14%

44%

Tuesday 8-11pm

57%

33%

42%

Wednesday 8-11pm

79%

18%

36%

Thursday 8-11pm

83%

14%

10%

Friday 8-11pm

108%

143%

125%

Saturday 8-11pm

114%

94%

116%

Sunday 8-11pm

81%

90%

108%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

93%

60%

67%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

This month OWN continues it’s year-over-year growth by staying on target with popular original programming mixed with reliable syndicated acquisitions and plenty of Oprah herself. The best night by far this month was Saturdays, which offered a consistent weekly schedule of two hours of WELCOME TO SWEETIE PIES followed by IYANLA, FIX MY LIFE. This night hit the strongest among both female age demos proving that OWN is producing original shows that its target audience wants to see. Also interesting this month is the night that had the greatest loss since October was Thursdays, which airs blocks of 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE, a show that has been slowly losing popularity.

New original show MARRIED TO THE ARMY: ALASKA premiered on Sunday the 18th, but new episodes jumped around throughout the week with one of the new episodes landing on a Monday. Otherwise, Mondays were the home base for DATELINE ON OWN, which draws the strongest ratings from households and women 25-54. The night showed monthly gains in both of those categories, along with double-digit annual gains across the board.

Each Tuesday aired a primetime block of OPRAH: WHERE ARE THEY NOW, checking back in with celebrities and intriguing interviews from past OPRAH WINFREY SHOW’s. The female demo winner was an episode centered around 90’s pop group HANSON, which helped keep the monthly ratings close to last month. However, there was a slight 8% monthly loss among women 18-49.

Mid-week mediocre ratings can be attributed to syndicated acquisitions like DATELINE ON OWN and 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE. Fridays offered episodes from the OWN original series POLICE WOMEN. These helped to draw stronger audiences and got viewers ready for the big Saturday night line-up.

Saturdays are the clear winner for OWN drawing the best ratings all week. This month, the schedule remained very consistent with a repeat, and then premiere episode of WELCOME TO SWEETIE PIE’S, followed by a new episode of IYANLA, FIX MY LIFE.

IYANLA, FIX MY LIFE continues to rise in popularity each month. The show, which is just about to finish its first season, has been a great draw for Oprah’s target audience, and gets very strong female ratings for the network.

Sunday ratings dropped back down slightly. The night offered a mixed bag of Oprah-starring shows and pulled some decent ratings from female viewers. The numbers weren’t quite as big as Saturdays, but still good for OWN, and still showed big annual gains.

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