The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launches on Saturday, and it won’t matter how miniscule the ratings are, there will be a ton of coverage for the ratings.  My guess is the coverage will dwarf anything we’ve seen with regard to Conan’s comeback, and will instead linger throughout the whole year.  Don’t be too surprised if the trajectory of coverage looks something like this exaggerated version:

  • January:  Oprah’s Ratings XXX% Better than Discovery Health
  • April:  Oprah’s OWN Ratings a Rounding Error Compared to Discovery Channel
  • August:  Oprah Says She Will Not Do Her Talk Show on New Network
  • October:  Oprah Insists She Will Absolutely Not Resurrect Talk Show for OWN
  • December:  Oprah Said to Be Reconsidering Talk Show on OWN
  • January 2012: Oprah to Resurrect Talk Show on OWN!

Brace yourselves.

Here’s a look at how Discovery Health and a few other networks did in 2010 (12/28/2009-12/26/2010):

Demographic Discovery Health Discovery USA Hallmark
Average Viewers Total Day 148,000 697,000 1,413,000 481,000
Average Viewers Primetime 252,000 1,258,000 3,157,000 858,000
Average Adults 18-49 Total Day 68,000 375,000 600,000 124,000
Average Adults 18-49 Primetime 110,000 673,000 1,245,000 158,000
Average Women 18-49 Total Day 49,000 133,000 327,000 89,000
Average Women 18-49 Primetime 77,000 244,000 644,000 115,000

I added Hallmark above because with a big Martha Stewart presence starting earlier in the year, OWN vs. Hallmark comparisons are probably inevitable.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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