BET Performance/Schedule Analysis - November 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of December 23, 2008)


TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

18-34 African Americans

NOVEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

KEYSHIA COLE, BROTHERS TO BRUTHA, AMERICAN GANGSTER, THE PARKERS

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:

OCTOBER - NOVEMBER:

SOMEBODIES finished up its run the last week of October with episodes nine and ten. KEYSHIA COLE and then BROTHERS TO BRUTHA launched on Tuesdays to replace it. The weekend schedule, which was already subject to weekly changes, was more volatile than usual.

PREMIERES:
** November 11 @ 10PM: KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS returns
** November 18 @ 10:30PM: BROTHERS TO BRUTHA debuts

FINALES:
** October 28: SOMEBODIES

DECEMBER AND BEYOND:

PREMIERES:
** Winter 2009: COLLEGE HILL INTERNS returns (?)
** Winter 2009: SUNDAY BEST returns (?)
** 2009: UNREPORTED premieres
** Winter 2009: THE BLACK PANTHER debuts
** Winter 2009: COLLEGE HILL returns
** Annual returning specials include: CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL (Winter '09); BET HONORS (Winter '09); RIP THE         RUNWAY (Winter '09); BET AWARDS '09 (Spring); SPRING BLING (Spring '09).

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

BET'S bottom-line is mixed vs. last year; down slightly among households (-6%), up for men 18-49 (+10%) and down for women 18-49 (-16%).

The driving force for these numbers is the daily theatrical. The difference in performance of this year's movies vs. last year's is very similar to the bottom line number.

Returning programs for this November include BET signature series KEYSHIA COLE and AMERICAN GANGSTER. KEYSHIA is doing slightly worse with her core women 18-49 viewers, but +23% better with men 18-49. The program has a two-thirds/one-third female/male skew despite the increased interest among the men. AMERICAN GANGSTER debuts on Thursdays and has its first (among many) encore on Fridays. Last year's premiere night was Wednesday. The ratings are up +3% for men 18-49, down -19% for women. Despite these shifts, the program has kept its male skew.

Top performing programs that did not return include SUNDAY BEST, HELL DATE, COLLEGE HILL: INTERNS and EXALTED. No official word on the return date for any of these programs.

NOVEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

BET had a good month...KEYSHIA COLE and BROTHERS TO BRUTHA rolled out with much success (see below), and the net was able to improve total primetime household and women 18-49 audiences by +10%. Men 18-49 were down, but just slightly at -4%.

BET's November can be summed up better by week than by night. Week one was the end of SOMEBODIES (lowest), week two was election programming (slightly better), week three was the return of KEYSHIA (strong), week four was the debut of BROTHERS TO BRUTHA (even stronger) and week five was a break for Thanksgiving (back down, but still above week two).

Of course there was other programming in the mix, but that really hits most of the key programming elements.

Monday nights pretty much followed the formula, and was slightly up on households and men (+7%), even with women. Best performing programming for the night was the back-to-back KEYSHIAs the last two weeks. The worst was SOMEBODIES and THE TRUTH WITH JEFF JOHNSON in the first week. Even the 8PM movie got better ratings at the end of the month.

Tuesdays are premiere night, and women 18-49 ratings were up +66% vs. last month. Men 18-49 had absolutely no change - a result of extraordinarily low numbers for the finale of SOMEBODIES (the worst M18-49 ratings of the run) and election coverage. The ratings kicked up with new eps of KEYSHIA COLE and BROTHERS TO BRUTHA. The second run of BROTHERS was actually better rated than the first. This might be due to the fact that the premiere was given a couple of "sneak peeks," but even so the new program looks promising.

Wednesdays were down -10% for men 18-49 and up +26% for women. This is the only night without either of the new reality shows on the air. COMICVIEW: ONE MIC STAND was on instead, and compared to last month it held ground with men and gained +25% higher female ratings.

November Thursdays feature AMERICAN GANGSTER after the movie. The program continues to perform, producing a solid male skew, and building audience vs. the movie. The program ranks #6 on households, but #1 on men 18-49. And it brings in the night as the best rated among men 18-49. (Tuesday / KEYSHIA is the best rated among women 18-49).

Of course Friday's encore of AMERICAN GANGSTER did not perform as well as the premiere. It still builds men 18-49 from the movie lead-in, but the other demos tune elsewhere.

A couple of HIP HOP AWARDS encores and no less than five KEYSHIA encores and a strong performance from a PARKERS marathon helped pull up Saturday's numbers by +36% among women 18-49. Men were not impressed, and dropped -17% of their ratings.

On Sundays all it took to boost the male ratings was to get rid of the JUDGES - KAREN AND HATCHETT. With those shows replaced by KEYSHIA and AMERICAN GANGSTER in the last three weeks, men 18-49 ratings climbed an impressive +70%.

And so as the end of the year approaches, BET has a new hit program (BROTHERS TO BRUTHA) plus a couple of programs in their third year that consistently draw strong male (GANGSTER) and female (KEYSHIA) audiences, now matter how many times they are put on the air (13 and 24).

ADDITIONAL RATINGS ANALYSIS:

From BET's press release: KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS returned for its third season on Tuesday, November 11 and is now BET's #1 original series season premiere telecast of all time. A total of 1.4 million households and 1.94 million viewers tuned in. The third season premiere of KEYSHIA COLE posted a 10% increase in viewing among households versus last year's premiere, maintaining the series' consistent year-to-year household growth with each season premiere (1.18 million and 1.24 million households for season one and two, respectively).

Additionally, episode two of KEYSHIA COLE aired immediately after the premiere and built on those strong lead-in numbers, scoring a 1.67 coverage rating and drawing 1.5 million households and 2.0 million viewers. Episode two of season three now stands as BET's #1 original series telecast so far this year.

Also, the special sneak peek of BET's new original series BROTHERS TO BRUTHA, which debuted after KEYSHIA COLE, scored a solid 1.02 coverage rating, with 901,000 households and 1.1 million viewers tuning in.

ACQUISITIONS:

BET Networks and The Weinstein Company (TWC) are working together for the first time on a four-movie deal involving first network-window premiere rights. The titles include 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). Furthermore, BET's 106 & PARK  broadcast the red carpet premiere show of Soul Men on October 28, renaming it 106 & SOUL MEN for that night. BET will also air a primetime special around Hurricane Season, featuring a town hall meeting from John Ehret High School in Marrero, LA with students and the film's actors and producers.

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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