JULY 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:
* Bold denotes programming change
The BET Monday - Friday schedule typically features a movie each night at 8, with original programming or encores running at 10. Premiere night for new series is Tuesday, with plenty of encores scattered irregularly throughout the rest of the week. Saturdays are all movies and Sunday night is a mix of programming, including movies, original series, encores, news specials and encores of specials.
JULY 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / July 2010 vs. July 2009 (% Change)
*Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
JULY 2010: If June is the pre-game show for THE BET AWARDS SHOW, July is the post-game show. The big event aired live on Sunday June 27, and scored 7.4 million viewers, effectively making the entire network's year in just one night.
Ratings comparisons to last month, when the awards show aired, or to last year, when BET was running on a high following Michael Jackson's passing, are deceptively poor. Both year-ago and month-ago ratings comparisons show a 13% loss among core women 18-49 viewers, but a quick look at each month's ratings shows that July 2010 was actually a strong month, delivering the best-ratings of the year (excluding June, or course).
The key to the strong ratings was simple: keep airing what works until the audience goes away. There was shockingly little variety on the programming line-up. There were encores everywhere -- five more runs of the AWARDS plus two more runs of the highlight show, four encores of TINY & TOYA 2 (which had its finale last month), another repeat showing of the SPRING BLING special and one telecast of THE GAME. The only other primetime offerings were movies and the new docu-reality-celebrity series, TREY SONGZ: MY MOMENT.
Movies are still the heart of the line-up - airing nearly every night of the week, they form the solid base on which the other programming is built. July's movies grew slightly vs. last year, and earned about 33% better women 18-49 ratings than last month. Some much-needed newer titles were in the mix, which helped boost the numbers (The Wood, Inside Man, Love Don't Cost).
TREY SONGZ: MY MOMENT is a 10-part docu-drama following R&B sensation Trey Songz at a pivotal point in his career, documenting his Blueprint 3 Tour, the development of his fourth album, and the anticipation surrounding its release. Each of the Tuesday night premiere episodes found its way to the top 20 ratings chart. But Trey was basically the only game in town on BET. Each episode averaged six encores, diluting the total program average. Of note, not one of the telecasts topped its lead-in.
As it approaches its 30th birthday, there is not a lot on BET's docket in the near future. Documentaries and co-sponsored programs (RISING ICONS sponsored by Grey Goose, CHANGING LANES sponsored by NASCAR) are up next. More specials and a lot of awards shows are also heading our way. Celebrity-reality documentaries come and go, adding spice to the schedule. It doesn't sound like a lot, but with a couple of new movie titles and encores of specials sprinkled in, you have enough to keep BET strong for 2010.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
BET is focusing on what it does best, awards shows and celebrity reality with a musical twist. For now, BET is stringing together one short-lived celebrity reality show after another...FAMILY CREWS into TINY & TOYA into TREY SONGZ. When a program strikes a chord, it is literally played until it is played out. However, new formats and programs are still viable; the net is working on a scripted drama for next year. and documentaries and specials with a social message are also a strong programming option.