Vh1 Analysis - June 2010

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JUNE 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

VH1 continues to have success with home-grown series, often built around Reality "stars" from earlier series (e.g. NEW YORK GOES TO WORK featuring a former FLAVOR OF LOVE contestant.) VH1's primetime lineup is very fluid in nature, leading to a lot of "Various" programs on their schedule grid.

VH1 will occasionally stack night of programming and air episodes of the same show back-to-back-to-back.  This can prove extremely successful for them, especially when they use these mini-marathons to premiere the latest episodes of a successful original series. Episodes of new series tend to receive multiple Prime plays during the week each episode premieres. This fluid approach to scheduling, however can take its toll on viewer loyalty, as the lack of a discernible schedule on many nights seems to have harmed viewership in 2010.

Music-oriented fare continues to make its presence felt on VH1, with survey-oriented specials (100 GREATEST...) joining occasional new epsiodes of the venerable BEHIND THE MUSIC series, along with concert specials and documentaries.

JUNE 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / June 2010 vs. June 2009  (% Change)

HH

P18-49

Monday 8-11pm

-7%

5%

Tuesday 8-11pm

 -25%

-17%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-15%

5%

Thursday 8-11pm

-6%

0%

Friday 8-11pm

-30%

-21%

Saturday 8-11pm

-28%

-17%

Sunday 8-11pm

-49%

-45%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-23%

-14%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

VH1's stretch of year-to-year losses stretched to a seventh straight month as June 2010's HH Rtg was barely 3/4 of that from last June and RP18-49 was also down significantly. Weeknight losses were less than those experienced last month, but Weekend losses were steeper.
With the exception of Monday and Thursday, every night experienced double-digit HH or demo losses from the same month last year, with Sunday down nearly by 1/2 from June 2009. Delivery was flat compared with May. In addition to this 7-month streak of year-to-year losses, June's numbers give evidence of the continued ageing of VH1 as the Prime Median Age jumped 11% compared to last year for the second straight month.

Series shuffled in and out throughout the month, with only Thursday's 10p OCD PROJECT enjoying four regularly scheduled telcasts in June. In addition, 15 of VH1's 21 Prime hour-long slots replaced May's series occupant with a different one in June, possibly leading to further viewer confusion, and half the time-slots had no discernible regular schedule in June.

On Monday, BEHIND THE MUSIC  and DAD CAMP replaced the just-completed TOUGH LOVE COUPLES 8-11p, leading to a 61% increase in RM25-54 over last year, as well as a 32% increase for younger men. Both demos doubled last month's ratings, raising RP18-49 30% and RP25-54 40% over May.

Tuesday's only semblance of consistet scheduling was  BASKETBALL WIVES at 10pm for two weeks. The night as a whole was down modestly from last year but grew somewhat in male demos from last month.

Wednesday featured the premiere of YOU'RE CUT OFF, VH1's top new series for the month. HH and demos were up by modest double-digits over last month, and demos also increased slightly from last year.

The premiere of THE OCD PROJECT was the top offering on Thursday.
Friday suffered modest double-digit HH and demo losses from last year, but was flat with May. The special 100 GREATEST SONGS OF THE 90'S was the top offering on this night.

Nothing stood out for Saturday, as the night was down somewhat from last year but up sharply in older men demos from May.

Sunday sufferd the steepest annual losses in June. The reunion episode of BASKETBALL WIVES drew top honors this night, but little else stood out, as the night was also down 40% from last month in HH and demos. 

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

VH1 has been extremely successful in the creation of an entirely new genre of programming.  Coining the phrase Celebreality, Vh1 has created several hit shows revolving around celebrities, past and present, and their "real" lives.

So now, the task at hand is to determine how they can expand beyond what's expected - and reach out to an even broader audience.  It's great to have programs that are celebrity-based, but anything that has amazing characters, tells a good story, and does it in a compelling way, is going to interest the net. Recently, VH1 has expanded into the original M.O.W. realm, with their first original feature being produced by Queen Latifah's production company, Favor Unit.

Important:

VH1's Celebreality hits have received a lot of attention and ratings success. The network, however, continues to expand upon their brand to bring unique documentaries and interesting pop culture and music-related series to air.

VH1 has said that they are actively looking for documentaries in their ROCK DOC block.  They are looking for "intimate stories," "iconic characters" (namely 60s and 70s icons), and intelligent documentaries that aren't afraid to take chances.  Think "big stories" told through a "small narrative," too.

In addition, they're looking to expand beyond just Celebreality.  TOOL ACADEMY and THE PICK-UP ARTIST were fairly big successes for the network and they're looking for the next version of those series.

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