Originally Posted by irfan
Youre free to think that they would make more money by not using Oprahs voice, but i disagree with that:
"Discovery's "Life" outperforms "Planet Earth"
Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:07am EDT
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The debut of Discovery's latest HD nature series, "Life," drew a titan 11.8 million viewers Sunday night.
ENTERTAINMENT | TELEVISION
That's 1.5 million more than the opener for the much-loved 2007 miniseries "Planet Earth."
It also marks the network's most-watched premiere since "Walking with Dinosaurs" and "Raising the Mammoth" in 2000.
The 11-episode "Life" is narrated by Oprah Winfrey."
I never said they would make more money not using Oprah's voice. I simply said they wouldn't lose any if they didn't.
Now, the real test is what the numbers will be next week when there is no simulcast.
If the number holds steady or is close, then the simulcast likely was not the reason for them. In short, all it did was capture only the people who wanted to watch that program. In other words, the didn't capture 11.8 million people plus the viewers for the normal content on those other channels. Instead, it only capture 11.8 million people that it could potentially have catured on one network, plus the viewers for normal programming on the other channels.
If the number holds relatively steady on just one network, the real test of the strategy is the following:
1) How many of those 11.8 million from the week before were for the main network (which is where subsequent episodes will be shown)? If the bulk of the viewers were for the main network, then they probably didn't gain much with the simulcast. In other words, they likely could have had those numbers on the main network.
2) Let's say the bulk of the viewers were for the main channel. If the numbers drop more than the amount that were garnered by the other networks, we'd have to assume there were a lot of people checking it out the first week, but the series didn't appeal to many of them enough to stick with it. In other words, did they tune in because Oprah told them to, or did they genuinely want to see the program?
3) How many viewers did that time slot get for the normal programming on those other networks the week before? If the numbers for those other networks were close, then they may have actually lost total viewership. In other words, if the bulk of the viewers were on the main network and the ratings for the other networks was roughly the same, then they didn't gain anyone. Instead, they simply replaced one viewer with another on those other networks. So, they potentially lost normal viewer who wanted to see programming where stuff gets blown up or slowed down instead of keeping them along with viewers for "Life" on the main network.
4) What were the adverting buys like? Don't forget, not every one of those other networks is available to everyone who gets the main Discovery channel. That means, the media buys may only cover certain channels and not all of them. Plus, product type is a concern. For example, an ad for the Ford Mustang with Sync might not play well on "Planet Green", while an ad for a hybrid might. Plus, if any of the ads were replicated on other networks, were they full ad buys? In other words, did they generate as much revenue on that network as the normal programming would, or was the bulk of the revenue based on the main channel airing?
In short, until we see all data, we won't know how the series really did. Viewer numbers alone don't tell the whole story. Remember that NBC tried to add all the viewers across the entire China Olympics for every channel of every day together to show they had a giant rating that beat everything in history.
It's important to know what these numbers really mean.