Food Network Analysis - June 2011

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JUNE 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Food network has a ton of recognizable titles and rotates them through their schedule from month to month effectively.  They use quite a lot of half hours. This network, more than most nonfiction channels these days, has a predictable Sunday night. On Sundays, high production value studio based cooking competitions reign. Food Network doesn't strip and Sunday night is the only reliable true stack. Other nights seldom run more than two episodes of a title, but will often match those two with a couple of similarly-spirited programs, creating a sort of affinity stack. At this shop, should anything less than three hours be called a short stack?

JUNE 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / June 2011 vs. June 2010  (% Change)

HH

F18-49

F25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-16%

-23%

-25%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-1%

-7%

-16%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-10%

-27%

-22%

Thursday 8-11pm

-3%

-15%

-5%

Friday 8-11pm

-8%

-19%

-16%

Saturday 8-11pm

-7%

-11%

-4%

Sunday 8-11pm

-21%

-32%

-29%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-11%

-21%

-18%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

What do you call it when a network posts losses on every night, in every demo compared to the previous year:  a really bad month.   Part of Food Network's ratings issue may be the lack of new franchises, as the existing franchises begin to fade.

Wednesday nights are noteworthy for the trend-breaking 90 minute episodes of NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR.  It's too early to tell but the numbers seem to be solid and held up from the CHOPPED CHAMPIONS lead-in.

CHOPPED has become the star of Tuesday night delivery big numbers at 10pm. Thursdays got a nice boost from 24 HOUR RESTAURANT BATTLE at 10pm.  Saturdays mix of stacks had mixed results but Guy Fieri's stack of Triple D (DINERS, DRIVE-INS & DIVES) in week three had the strongest ratings this month.

Sunday's line-up didn't help the premieres of NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR.  The 8pm lead-in was weak, forcing NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR  to double the lead-in just to keep the night's ratings respectable.

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

This network, one of the most clever in the cable universe for many years, needs you. The snazzy, studio-based Super-Bowl-like cooking competitions are still solid, but DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES, a field-produced roadshow dominates at the moment. A competitor, TLC, has dipped its toe into these potentially lucrative waters with a new series about BBQ competitions, thus blending two proven concepts. Here, as much as at any network, personality rules. Guy Fieri (a competition winner himself) is what makes DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES work. Imagining that show without him is like thinking DIRTY JOBS on Discovery would work without Mike Rowe. So... look for a new twist for these folks, whether in the field or back in the studio. They're surely looking for both. But don't even think about it if you don't have some good, promotable on-camera talent in mind.

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