Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable network, which has struggled to attract viewers since its January 2011 launch, got good news in its first-quarter ratings, posting substantial growth in prime time and total day across all key demographics.
For the period of Dec. 26-March 25, the channel saw growth among women 25-54 in prime time (up 14%) and total day (up 25%) from a year ago.
OWN also reported: “For the month of March, the network also notched double-digit growth across all key demos in both prime time and total day. Prime-time ratings were up +50% W25-54, up +34% in households and +35% in total viewers, with total day up +42% W25-54, +38% HH and +37% total viewers versus year ago numbers. OWN improved its standing among 97 ad-supported cable networks, climbing to #29 in prime time and #30 in total day.”
OWN President Erik Logan said in a statement: “We are pleased with our start for 2012 — viewers are responding and connecting with our programming.”
Highlights included several installments of Winfrey’s prime-time series “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” The Steven Tyler episode had 1.1 million total viewers; Pastor Joel Osteen drew 1.5 million total viewers; an interview with members of Whitney Houston’s family saw the show surge to 3.5 million total viewers; and the Lady Gaga episode pulled in 808,000 total viewers.