WE tv Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

WE tv Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

This most female of networks runs a structurally very predictable and stable schedule. Most nights if you like what's on at 8pm, you'll like the whole evening, for they stack as heavily as virtually any network out there. Often, the same series title will run for an entire evening. The range of programming is very wide, with original series related to weddings taking up a lot of real estate (MY FAIR WEDDING, BRIDEZILLAS, I FOUND THE GOWN). In addition to a range of reality shows, the network also air a number of films each month that tend to rate well with viewers. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention GOLDEN GIRLS. This sitcom antique, with its famous blue-haired ensemble cast, often gets more telecasts than any other title, and it has for years.

MARCH 2013 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / March 2013 vs. March 2012 (% Change)

HH

W18-49

W25-54

P25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-33%

-25%

-50%

-33%

Tuesday 8-11pm

0%

-33%

-25%

-33%

Wednesday 8-11pm

0%

50%

50%

0%

Thursday 8-11pm

0%

-17%

-9%

-14%

Friday 8-11pm

33%

67%

67%

33%

Saturday 8-11pm

0%

33%

0%

0%

Sunday 8-11pm

25%

0%

0%

33%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

0%

-20%

0%

0%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

For some time now, WE tv has shuffled from month to month, unable to spring out of the ratings limbo its found itself.  March brought about no sweeping reversal of fortune for the network, but viewership among women 25 – 54 did manage to rise 25% from February.

The condition of the younger demo was less rosy: women 18 – 49 were flat from the previous month and down 20% from last year.  And while month-to-month numbers were up for women 25 – 54, the demo’s ratings were unchanged from last year.

BRAXTON FAMILY VALUES, the network’s biggest draw, continues to be WE tv’s lifesaver in stormy seas.  Though BRAXTON can’t singlehandedly pull the network out of its current ratings crisis, it has been keeping it afloat.

The three new episodes BRAXTON aired over the course of March served as WE tv’s most watched telecasts of the month.  The next most watched broadcast (the season finale of MARY MARY) was woefully behind.

Thursday, which aired BRAXTON, was the only night to attract a fair sized audience.  Thursday viewership was fairly widespread: the night shared an even number of female viewers in both key age demos.  The night was also up 25% from February among women 18 – 49 and 25 – 54, with all thanks for the shared increase belonging to BRAXTON.

The news wasn’t all good for WE tv’s all important Thursday night, however.  The night suffered a 17% and 9% drop among women 18 – 49 and 25 – 54 respectively compared to last year.  Thursdays of March 2012 aired second season episodes of BRAXTON exclusively, while this past March dedicated one Thursday to MARY.  This deviation brought down the night’s overall ratings significantly.

Year-to-year ratings for BRAXTON were down 42% and 36% among women 18 – 49 and 25 – 54 respectively.  This drop is completely due to an inflated number of reruns this March – viewership of premiere episodes outperformed last year’s numbers.

MARY, which closed out its season at the beginning of the month, was unable to match the ratings of its previous season finale among women 18 – 49 but built upon its ratings with women 25 – 54.

JOAN AND MELISSA rounded out WE tv’s slim repertoire of original programming without making much of a contribution to the network’s ratings.  The show was down 20% among women 18 – 49 and 25 – 54 compared to February (which aired the third season premiere).  However, the show did manage to build upon its second season ratings of March 2012 by 33% among women 18 – 49 – it remained unchanged among women 25 – 54.  While this may be a move in the right direction, JOAN was still beat out by reruns of BRAXTON as well as an episode of acquired show GOLDEN GIRLS.

Over the course of the month, WE tv aired three movies: MISS CONGENIALITY, OVERBOARD, and ERIN BROCKOVICH.  CONGENIALITY fared the best, falling within the range of a lesser viewed BRAXTON rerun.

Of WE tv’s acquired slate, CSI: MIAMI drew the most viewers, followed by GOLDEN GIRLS and then ROSEANNE.

In July look for WE tv to expand its growing African-American slate with GLAM & GOLD – a reality series featuring Olympian Sanya Richards and NFL star Aaron Ross.

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