With the recent premieres (and the attendant PR hoopla) of OWN shows Oprah’s Lifeclass and The Rosie O’Donnell Show, you might think that finally the ratings for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network would rise above those of Discovery Health that it replaced in January

If you thought that, you may wish to think again.

Here are the comparisons across all the adult viewership demos I have between OWN in October, 2011 vs. Discovery Health in October, 2010.

  • Total Day Avg. viewership: Down 12%
  • Total Day Women 18-34 viewership: Down 30%
  • Total Day Women 18-49 viewership: Down 15%
  • Total Day Women 25-54 viewership: Down 4% (likely the ad target demo for OWN)
  • Total Day Adults 18-49 viewership: Down 15%

It’s not a surprise that OWN isn’t attracting as many men as Discovery Health, but the fact that it’s still not attracting as many women is a big problem, to put it lightly.

It always seemed to me that the financial play for Discovery was:

  1. Replace Discovery Health with OWN
  2. Negotiate up the network’s subscriber fees from the cable and satco’s.
  3. Profit.

As Dr. Phil might ask “How’s that workin’ out for ya?”

In the case of ratings (and likely their effect on negotiating leverage), it’s still so far, not so good. I wonder what rabbit’s OWN still has to pull out of its hat?

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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