Specializing in Specific Interests

Feb 17, 2008  •  Post A Comment

While female TV viewers are drawn to the main three women’s networks on cable—Lifetime, Oxygen and WE—a number of other cable channels compete for a largely female audience by focusing on specific subject areas. Fine Living, SoapNet and Jewelry TV (JTV) exemplify this targeted approach to reaching women.
JTV’s demographic is 90% female. “Our core viewer is a confident woman in her 40s or 50s who has reached a point of achievement in her life,” said Randy Sadler, vice president of marketing for Jewelry Television. “This point of achievement could be in a growing career, or she has found a way to work at home, or her children are graduating from high school or college, and she is taking on a bit of celebratory spirit. She has probably loved jewelry since she was a little girl, but she has never really believed she could enjoy it with reckless abandon.
“As she watches Jewelry Television or goes to JTV.com, her dormant passions are reawakened. The discovery is a great adventure for her. Because she is often a creative or artistic person, she craves the knowledge about gemstones—where they are mined, when they were first discovered, how the facets give the stone exceptional beauty. She’s excited, and she realizes she’s also paid too much for jewelry in the past. Jewelry becomes a more definitive part of her lifestyle, whether she buys for herself or to give gifts to friends and loved ones.”
Valuable Niche
Fine Living Network is the first TV network dedicated to helping individuals do more with their time and money. It is now in more than 49 million subscriber homes, and has carved out a niche with shows about travel, finance, real estate and shopping.
“We have also conducted studies looking into the lifestyles of very busy, upscale women and couples, and found these people are looking for the greatest value from their purchases and their experiences, and that’s what we focus our network on every day. Our shows are great at attracting women without alienating the guys,” said Chad Youngblood, general manager of Fine Living Network. “Producing shows that are full of takeaway information but also extremely fun to watch is really important here, and we think shows like ‘Real Estate Confidential,’ ‘Shopping With Chefs’ and ‘Great Cocktails’ are very attractive to female audiences.”
Mr. Youngblood points to “The Martha Stewart Show,” which Fine Living has as a cable exclusive, as a strong draw for women viewers.
“Many of the Martha loyal are working during the day. By giving them a prime-time alternative, we feel we are providing a valuable service to them,” he said. “We hope that when they come to Fine Living Network to see Martha, they will stick around for our fantastic original programming, such as our new travel series ‘All-Girl Getaways,’ which is premiering in April.
“We strive to be a useful resource for all our viewers, and when it comes to shopping … we pride ourselves on providing unbiased, useful information that helps people make smarter decisions. Fine Living’s programming blocks include consumer-oriented shows like ‘Smart Shopping Weekends,’ ‘Buyer’s Guides’ and ‘What’s Your Time Worth.’ We offer experts in shopping, travel, home and entertaining, along with around-the-clock dedication to the topic of managing time and money needs.”
The women who tune in to Fine Living are generally more affluent, a fact not lost on advertisers. According to Jonathan LaConti, vice president of ad sales for Fine Living Network, “Fine Living delivers a loyal, upscale female audience. Those who watch all of the five network brands from Scripps are in the buying mode, more so than other networks, and Fine Living is very much in that mix. Our programming is compelling, original and with strong consumer satisfaction and great distribution partners.”
Bubbling Up
Of all the specialty networks eager for female viewers, SoapNet is No. 1 with women 18-49 and has been for 65 consecutive months as measured by frequency of viewing and average minutes viewed, according to NPower.
The network, which reaches 64 million viewers, is the lone cable channel for American daytime dramas, re-airing daily episodes of more than half of the soap operas broadcast each weekday: “All My Children,” “Days of Our Lives,” “One Life to Live,” “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless.”
“There is an insatiable appetite for soapy drama, and SoapNet offers the programming that keeps our viewers satisfied, whether they like to get their soap fix from daytime soaps, prime-time drama, reality or docusoaps,” said Brian Frons, president of daytime for Disney-ABC Television Group. “The soaps have a great emotional connection with women because they are relatable, reflect changes in the culture and remain relevant.”
In the past year, SoapNet added to its original programming by creating “General Hospital: Night Shift,” a late-night program spun off from “General Hospital.” The once-a-week hour drama ran for 13 weeks and garnered huge ratings for SoapNet. One million viewers tuned in to the first of 13 weekly one-hour episodes, and “Night Shift” also shattered the SoapNet record for women 18-49 (498,000) and women 18-34 (192,000). Its premiere hour was the highest-rated telecast in the network’s seven-year history.


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