GSN Analysis - December 2009

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DECEMBER 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Much of GSN's programming is conventional studio-based quizzers that dominate primetime.  However, they are leading up with new specials and theme nights as in the case of their Vegas Night block of casino programming.

GSN continually looks to redefine and expand the definition of game and competition.  What have made their loyal viewers come back again and again are the programs that challenge game play and trivia.  New programming generally tends to pursue the traditional, broad half-hour strip game show format with interactive play-along elements.  In addition to non-traditional one hour series: competitive reality shows, documentaries, story-driven & celebrity-driven formats.

DECEMBER 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / November 2009 vs. November 2008  (% Change)

HH

M25-54

F25-54

P25-54

Monday 8-11pm

33%

0%

50%

100%

Tuesday 8-11pm

0%

0%

50%

0%

Wednesday 8-11pm

25%

0%

100%

50%

Thursday 8-11pm

25%

100%

0%

0%

Friday 8-11pm

25%

100%

50%

0%

Saturday 8-11pm

25%

-50%

0%

0%

Sunday 8-11pm

-33%

-50%

0%

-50%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

33%

0%

50%

0%

*Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Overall primetime averages for ratings, share and delivery were up this month as compared to one year ago, December 2008. Overall share was up +33% and delivery was up +21%.  In fact, almost every night of the week had substantial growth.  In particular, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights this month showed a significant gain - share was up +25% on these nights.   Adults 25-54 their core demographics were up +12% in overall delivery, from a year ago.  And a much more impressive story was that all the demo averages were up this month pretty significantly.  Two of their most popular programs FAMILY FEUD was up +50% share and CATCH 21 was up +29% in delivery from one year ago.

Comparing GSN's primetime monthly averages, were pretty much on par compared to last month.  Overall share fell flat and delivery was up a modest +1%.  There were no new series or season premieres this month to report on.

Programming staples on the network continue to be MILLIONAIRE, FAMILY FEUD, CATCH 21, THE NEWLYWED GAME, LINGO and POKER.  MILLIONAIRE (the half hour version) fell flat this month.  FAMILY FEUD was up +20% share.  LINGO was up +1% in delivery this month, but was quickly replaced by 1 VS 100 in the weekly prime line-up.  CATCH 21 fell flat in all key demos and GSN's own original version of THE NEWLYWED GAME was up +3% in delivery.  Even so, the Monday-Friday line-up continues to be a consistent vertical stack of programs.  THE NEWLYWED GAME has been a ratings success story for GSN.  The series has improved each time slot in which it has been scheduled, whether in households or target demos. And CATCH 21 continues to be one of GSN viewers' favorite series.

Sunday night's casino themed line-up with HIGH STAKES POKER 4 and 5 were down in overall share and delivery this month, but did show substantial gains with Women 18-49 share, which rose +100%.  WORLD POKER TOUR fell flat.  Saturdays continued with a double pump of FAMILY FEUD which was the lead-in for off network acquisition DEAL OR NO DEAL.  DEAL was up +20% share and +16% delivery overall this month.  DEAL was also up +50% share with Men 18-49.  DEAL was followed by 1 VS 100 which was down -17% in delivery.  1 VS 100 was the 10pm replacement that was stripped this month Monday-Friday.  There were no specials to report on this month.  Overall a solid month of programming, a mix of original and off-network acquired series.

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

Strategic Opportunities:

GSN continually looks to redefine and expand the definition of game and competition.  What have made their loyal viewers come back again and again are the programs that challenge game play and trivia.  New programming generally tends to pursue the traditional, broad half-hour strip game show format with interactive play-along elements.  In addition to non-traditional one hour series: competitive reality shows, documentaries, story-driven & celebrity-driven formats.

The network looks for a show to appeal their audience base of male/female 25-54.  Shows have repeatability, and signature series that can break out. Most recently they just acquired the rights to NBC's off-network acquisition DEAL OR NO DEAL. GSN continues to acquire product in the quiz/game show genres.  They look for high energy shows that have a great host, and an opportunity for big-time winners that entices the audience to join in on the fun either on-air or online.

Important:

GSN's program CATCH 21 crosses all platforms. There is an online game players now have the opportunity to enjoy the game as a TV show, while TV viewers can become contestants by logging on and competing against other players for cash and prizes.  CATCH 21 is an example of the kind of programming that GSN is going after.  Bringing a classic card game to life in a fun way that engages the audience.  GSN remains committed to developing within a wide range of formats including original reality, relationship, comedy and game-related documentaries.

GSN is constantly trying to create new opportunities to tie in their programming with multi-platform interactive initiatives.  With GSN Live, their intention is to give away prizes and exciting new opportunities to win in real-time every day.  It promises to be fun, engaging way for them to further connect with their audience by giving them a unique experience for game show fans every time they tune in.

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