- Discovery’s investment in OWN rounds up to US$ half a billion:
- “The cable network giant’s total funding to the joint venture channel with Oprah Winfrey now stands at $312 million and counting.”
- The previous estimated loss was $189 million.
- Operating breakeven is not on the horizon.
- And what for?
- OWN’s average audience is less than the ‘under-performing’ Discovery Health network it replaced.
- OWN’s average 4Q’11 primetime audience was down 9,000 viewers or 5% versus Health’s final 4Q’10.
- And Health was kept alive on a drip feed of stale library product during the wait for OWN’s numerically auspicious 1/1/11 launch.
- Key metrics vs. Discovery Health (FY’11 vs FY’10)
- A25-54 (-7%)
- A18-49 (-13%)
- OWN’s audience aged from 48-52
- OWN underperformed Health in around 14 of 21 Prime hours.
- OWN’s workaday programming team is managing expectations in a very difficult situation
- Their big hope is for a breakout hit like Queer Eye that transformed Bravo back in 2003.
- But that’s a much bigger challenge a decade later when scores of channels are competing for slivers of the same mature audience.
- OWN’s best result would be to make a few more advances along the lines of Sweetie Pies.
- A Lesson From Lisa
- America with Lisa Ling showed early promise.
- But was swamped by the U.S. audience’s appetite for character-driven versus topic-driven entertainment.
- Coming from her world of the topic-driven, syndicated daily talk show, Oprah Winfrey has not yet adjusted to the character-driven programming model of the 24×7 cable channel.
- Who’s Hot? Who’s Not? U.S. factual networks in 4Q 2011 versus 4Q 2010
- Top non-fiction series in 2010
- NHK’s Cosmic Shore: A Blue Chip Science Case Study…
Asian Side of the Doc
Tokyo, March 19-22
Pitfalls and Challenges of International Copro’s
Cannes, March 30
Panel: How to Get the Funds
And Hot Docs is coming up in the Big TO
April 26 – May 6…