Food Network Analysis - November 2010

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NOVEMBER 2010 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?

NOVEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / November 2010 vs. November 2009 (% Change)

HH

F18-49

F25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-6%

-20%

-14%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-9%

-17%

-20%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-3%

-5%

-5%

Thursday 8-11pm

-18%

-30%

-33%

Friday 8-11pm

-6%

-12%

-15%

Saturday 8-11pm

14%

15%

14%

Sunday 8-11pm

-10%

-21%

-15%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-5%

-13%

-14%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Food Network has been in a real food slump.  Even (ACE OF) CAKES won't make the ratings better.

In fact, Duff Goldman's Baltimore Bakery which had a 10 season run on Food Network was cancelled this past month.  Perhaps the cancellation of ACE OF CAKES is a telling sign of what's ailing the Network-older shows that are fading and new series haven't picked up the ratings pace.  Even Guy Fieri's DINERS, DRIVE-INS & DIVES has fallen out of the customary top dog spot on the network the past few months.

 Saturday nights were the lone bright spot in the schedule compared to last year, showing year-to-year growth.  Every other night was down in every major demographic compared to last year.  New shows like TAILGATE WARRIORS had failed to build momentum and showed a week-to-week decline of almost 20% in two consecutive airings

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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