Ad buyers continue to have confidence in a fledgling cable network despite a ratings performance that had the channel ending its first quarter as the No. 45 cable net in prime time and then slipping even lower, to No. 73, in the second quarter.
Advertising Age’s Andrew Hampp reports that marketers are sticking with OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and the main reason appears to be its owner and new CEO, Oprah Winfrey. In the latest in a series of executive moves, Winfrey announced recently that she is taking over the reins as CEO of the network.
OWN, which debuted Jan. 1, ranked No. 45 among cable nets in Q1 in the key demo of adults 18-49, slipping to No. 73 in Q2. The network was 63rd in total viewers for Q2. Among networks aimed at women, Lifetime, Oxygen, WE and even SoapNet, which is being canceled, have all done better.
But OWN, which is now finishing upfront negotiations for the fall season, is re-signing deals with many of its debut sponsors and adding new advertisers in categories such as movie studios and retail, the story notes.
Nevertheless, the network isn’t receiving the premiums that other cable networks, such as Viacom’s networks, are getting.
OWN has lowered its ratings expectations during the latest round of negotiations, after it failed to meet guarantees set last year, the piece adds. Winfrey is also expected to become more hands-on with advertisers as she eases into her role as the venture’s chief executive, the story notes.