Food Network Analysis - September 2010

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SEPTEMBER 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?

SEPTEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

F18-49

F25-54

Monday 8-11pm

6%

12%

4%

Tuesday 8-11pm

0%

0%

9%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-7%

-3%

-3%

Thursday 8-11pm

-27%

-35%

-35%

Friday 8-11pm

1%

2%

4%

Saturday 8-11pm

23%

33%

33%

Sunday 8-11pm

9%

3%

10%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

0%

0%

2%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Food network has stabilized from it's recent declines, most notably with solid double digit growth on Saturday nights which  uses a stack strategy that included two nights of CHOPPED, DINERS, DRIVE-INS & Dives and FOOD NETWORK CHALLENGE.

 AMERICA'S BEST HAD one airing on Mondays  (and another on aThursday) and was able to maintain it's lead-in.  The GREAT FOOD TRUCK RACE started strong but fizzled as the month progressed.

 EXTREME CUISINE WITH JEFF CORWIN had three solid airings on Thursdays but couldn't help build the night which showed the largest year-to-year declines from 2009.

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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