BET Performance/Schedule Analysis - December 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of January 25, 2009)


TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

18-34 African Americans

DECEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

KEYSHIA COLE, BROTHERS TO BRUTHA, AMERICAN GANGSTER

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

BET's premiere nights for new series are usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays with plenty of encores scattered irregularly throughout the rest of the week. BET is trying out Thursday, the most competitive night on TV, as a premiere night for AMERICAN GANGSTER. Movies run most nights, taking up the bulk of the primetime inventory.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER:

COMICVIEW: ONE MIC STAND and BLACK CARPET were gone from Wednesdays and the entire primetime schedule this month. Weekend programming continues to change vastly week to week.

PREMIERES:
** None this month

FINALES:
** December 23: BROTHERS TO BRUTHA

JANUARY AND BEYOND:

PREMIERES:
** January 17: BET HONORS
** January 25: CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL    
** January 27 @ 9PM: BALDWIN HLLS 3
** January 30 @10PM: PLAYED BY FAME debut
** March 2 @ 10PM: HARLEM HEIGHTS debut
** March 8 @ 9PM: SUNDAY BEST returns (?)season 2
** March 24: COLLEGE HILL season 6 returns
** Winter 2009: COLLEGE HILL INTERNS returns   
** Winter 2009: THE BLACK PANTHER debuts
** Annual returning specials include: RIP THE RUNWAY (Winter '09); BET AWARDS '09 (Spring);  SPRING BLING (Spring '09).

FINALES:
** MARCH 17 @ 10PM: BALDWIN HILLS 3

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

December 2007 was one of BET's best months in recent history, and the December 2008 performance was very close. The total primetime ratings were similar year-to-year: household audience was off by just four percent; adult 18-49 ratings were exactly even; men 18-49 were up ten percent and women 18-49 were down eight percent.

Most of this year's top rated programs were also on the air in December 2007...

KEYSHIA COLE was the highest rated program in December for both this year and last among both households and women. The program was perhaps the most over-played both years as well. Last year the two episodes ran a total of 16 times, this year four episodes ran 21 times. The year-to-year delivery is not a clean comparison; the show ran for only two weeks last year, and its finale was among the top-rated BET telecasts of all time. That said, the 2008 premiere telecasts are not as strong as either of 2007's, and in-all, this year's run is averaging -18% lower than last year's,for both households and core women 18-49.

AMERICAN GANGSTER is this year's top ranked program among men. Ratings are up +8% for households, +22% for women 18-49, and down -7% for men 18-49. Last year the show's premiere night was on Wednesday...a less competitive night for the young male demos.

The BET MOVIE OF THE WEEK has become a more integral part of the line-up since last year. There were 21 movies telecast within primetime this year, vs. just 14 in 2007. Audience levels were basically even year-to-year.

Added to the 2008 mix was BROTHERS TO BRUTHA, which performed slightly better than last year's run of COLLEGE HILL: INTERNS.

Bottom-line, BET was able to put in a successful close to the year by replicating successes and adding one new program to the mix.


DECEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

December was another good month for BET, the second best of the year for core adult 18-49 ratings (slightly behind June). Coming off a strong November, BET's household ratings increased by +5%, men 18-49 ratings stayed the same and women 18-49 ratings increased by +3%.

Monday night showed strong improvement with +23% gain on household ratings, +13% for men 18-49 and +32% for women 18-49. The 8PM to 10PM movies performed the same as last month's, not surprising given the fact that two of the four titles were identical. The difference was in the 10-11PM slot. Last month was a mix of politically oriented specials; this month was back-to-back encores of KEYSHIA COLE.

Tuesday / premiere night grew as well. SOMEBODIES and election coverage dragged down the night last month. New telecasts of KEYSHIA and BROTHERS TO BRUTHA remain the network's top ranked programs, but they lost some audience vs. last month's debuts.

Wednesdays pulled in exactly the same ratings as last month. This month's line-up was consistently a movie followed by two encores of BROTHERS TO BRUTHA. BRUTHA was not able to hold audience from the movie. (Wednesdays in November featured election specials, BLACK CARPET and COMICVIEW).

AMERICAN GANGSTER remains the top-rated program among men 18-49, and is the only program on the line-up with a male skew. However, the program is not holding up. Thursdays were down slightly on households and men 18-49 (-5%), and down -20% on women 18-49. AMERICAN GANGSTER'S entire monthly run was down about ten percent on ratings, but for premiere night Thursday it was down -16% on households and men 18-49 and down -36% on women 18-49. Last month AMERICAN GANGSTER consistently built audience from its lead-in movie, this month it lost audience from the movie.

Friday night was also down a bit - and it was also a night of a movie followed by AMERICAN GANGSTER (encore). Households were off by -2%, men by -13% and women by -7%.

Saturday night was different every week in December. The most successful night for households and men was a BRUTHA/KEYSHIA/movie combo. The best-rated night for women was a GIRLFRIENDS marathon. Least successful was an appearance of MTV's MAKING THE BAND. Other cross-network programming attempts made this year have also failed to pull in good numbers.

Sunday was the most improved night versus November, and also the oldest, coming in with a median age above 30.  The big difference was JUDGE HATCHETT and JUDGE KAREN were no longer on the air. KEYSHIA pulled in the best numbers for the night.

With only four regular programs on the air, BET increased ratings and share, and produced one of its best-rated months of the year.

ACQUISITIONS:

BET Networks and The Weinstein Company (TWC) put together a four-movie deal involving first network-window premiere rights for The Longshots (starring Keke Palmer), Soul Men (starring Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac) and Hurricane Season (starring Forest Whitaker), as well as a portion of the network window rights to The Great Debaters (starring Denzel Washington).

Diary of a Mad Black Woman and other Tyler Perry theatricals are rumored to be sharing a window with Turner.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

BALDWIN HILLS 3, COLLEGE HILL INTERNS, SUNDAY BEST

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

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