TBS Performance/Schedule Analysis - October 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of November 25, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49 & Adults 25-54.

OCTOBER 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS

MLB play-off games

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

TBS runs original and off-net sitcoms in back-to back one or two hour blocks from Monday to halfway through Thursday. Friday is usually a one-hour block of off net sitcoms followed by a movie. Weekend prime is all movies.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2008:

This month the regular programming took a backseat, as baseball took front and center with 18 play-off games in primetime.

PREMIERES:

MLB:  SUNDAY MLB ON TBS includes regular-season games each Sunday afternoon throughout the regular season, which began April 6th. The network also televised the MLB All-Star Selection Show on Sunday, July 6th, and covered the Division Series in October and, for the first time, exclusive coverage of the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

NOVEMBER AND BEYOND:

PREMIERES:
** December 3: TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE new season premieres
** January 6, 2009 (late night - 11PM): 10 ITEMS OR LESS

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

TBS was all about baseball this month, as the network carried 18 Major League Baseball playoff games in primetime. TBS carried Division Series games last year as well, but this year they added the American League Championship Series to the roster. And then the Red Sox and the Rays took it to seven games. Records were broken as TBS drew the most viewers to ever watch a play-off game on cable.

After that, there's not much left to say about the rest of the schedule's performance. New viewers were brought to the network, as it got a lot older and a lot more male. In turn, the regular programming that appeals to the younger female set did not fare so well. In fact, none of the regular programs on TBS performed as well as last year. Nearly every program and movie skein saw double digit declines on nearly every demo.

But we're not going to go through the analytical wringer; we're just going to chalk it up to the results of a schedule turned on its head. We look forward to a full analysis of how TBS' programs are holding up in November!

OCTOBER 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

To recap, 18 MLB playoff games, Red Sox / Rays take it to game 7, records shattered.

Enough said? Well, there was some other stuff going on, even if it was all horribly skewed. So, here are our highlights of the month, beyond baseball.

- FAMILY GUY was the only program to make the top household rankings besides baseball.  In fact, seven telecasts made it into the top 20. (Well, technically STEVE HARVEY SHOW was on the list, but that was because it aired when TBS was having technical difficulties getting Game Six on the air. Let's call it a technical foul and not count it in the rankings.

- Not one non-baseball telecast made the top 20 among men 25-54, and among men 18-49 only one telecast made the list, FAMILY GUY of course.

- HOUSE OF PAYNE was the only program to make the top 20 women 25-54 telecasts (five telecasts placed), although we should note the program took a -18% dive among that demo.

- In fact, most programs that are usually regularly scheduled did not fare well this month vs. last. MY NAME IS EARL and SEINFELD grew about 10% among men 18-49 and FAMILY GUY was relatively even vs. September. Beyond that, the other programs on the air (THE OFFICE, HOUSE OF PAYNE, FRIENDS, and movies as a whole) lost core viewers.

- Looking at the demo with the least interest in baseball, two telecasts of FAMILY GUY and five telecasts of HOUSE OF PAYNE made the top 20 telecast rankings among women 18-49. Women 18-49 were so not interested in baseball, relative to the rest of the demos, that their ratings increased by +23% over September, vs. +135% for men 18-49, +163% for men 25-54 and +30% for women 25-54.

- And we just can't let this go without noting that the total Monday-Sunday primetime average for October aged by 30%.

Bottom line: baseball does a lot for the short-term ratings spikes, but it doesn't do a lot for TBS' core 18-49 programming. 

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

COMEDY FESTIVALS: TBS is strengthening its position as the new home for comedy festivals while HBO is turning away. TBS unveiled a new five-day Chicago summer festival, set to launch in 2009. TBS also said it will air the fourth annual Comedy Festival in Las Vegas in November. "We're ready to dive into the festival arena full force," said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. "These events are a perfect opportunity for TBS to showcase some of the best talents in the comedy industry and to expand the reach of our brand in exciting new ways. We will use the festivals as a mike to talk to comedy fans in a 360-degree way all year and offer cross-platform marketing opportunities," he said. (Hollywood Reporter)

MOVIES: TNT and sister network TBS are joining the crowds on signing up for theatrical prebuys, obtaining the cable-TV rights to four high-visibility movies set for release by New Line and Picturehouse later this year: The Women, Journey to the Center of the Earth, the Zac Efron vehicle 17 Again and the Vince Vaughn-Reese Witherspoon comedy Four Christmases.

TBS signed a Lionsgate deal valued between $8 and $10 million, which also included pre-buys. Titles include Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns (begins 2010) and Larry the Cable Guy's Witless Protection (begins 2010), allowing TBS to lock in those franchises. Other titles include Lord of War, with Nicolas Cage, and In the Mix, starring Usher, which will become available this spring.

At the end of February, TBS and TNT completed a big movie purchase from WB. As is the recent trend, many of the titles were bought on a pre-buy basis. Among the titles likely to appear on TBS are Get Smart, with Steve Carell, and Jim Carrey's Yes Man. TBS will be able to start running Ant Bully in June. The rest of the movies will trickle in to the two networks throughout 2010 and 2011.

A $12 million Lionsgate movie package was sold to TBS and sister network TNT, and includes titles such as Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married and Daddy's Little Girls, Bernie Mac's Pride and Bill Engvall's Delta Force.

Rush Hour 3 from New Line begins airing in 2010, Fracture begins in 2009.

LATEST PROGRAM RENEWALS:

TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE: 26 extra episodes ordered. (in addition to the original 100 episode order)

MY BOYS and BILL ENGVALL have been renewed for their 3rd seasons, and are due to be back on the air in first quarter 2009.


LATEST PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

None.

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