CW Audience Expands, Advertisers Buy In

Pasadena, Calif. -- The CW continues to successfully broaden its programming from its mostly young-skewing female audience -- all good news for its young multi-screen TV viewers and TV-video advertisers.

“Vampire Diaries,” which may have been the network’s lone star performer in the last few seasons, has been bolstered recently by “Arrow” in the 2012-2013 season, and “Diaries” spinoff “The Originals” this current season -- shows that draw in a slightly more male and slightly older audience than its traditional 18-34 viewers.

In the summer of 2013 the network also had similar success in expanding viewership with its remake of the improvisational comedy show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

Mark Pedowitz, president of The CW Television Network, says the network will continue to focus on “high-concept, fantasy serialized dramas.” Speaking at the Television Critics Association meeting here, he adds: “the audience is not coming to us for the procedural dramas.”

Pedowitz says that although the network has indeed broadened its viewership somewhat, “we are still predominantly a 18-34 [network].” All this has yielded good response from advertisers -- both on TV and digitally, says Rob Tuck, executive vp of advertising sales for CW.

CW is one of few TV networks that have grown its inventory of rating points this season. Through the first 12 weeks of the season, for example, CW grew 11% to 1.1 million 18-49 viewers versus a year ago -- and 8% to 2.1 million total average viewers -- as shown through Nielsen’s live-program-plus-seven-day data.

With more inventory in the marketplace to sell, scatter TV revenues has been good. Tuck also says the scatter TV market price per thousand viewers [CPMs] in the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 are “higher” than the CPMs that advertisers bought in the upfront market last June.

The CW may be unique among the many other TV networks: Tuck says all of its traditional TV advertisers continue to have digital extensions for their media -- TV commercials that also appear on CW’s digital/online advertising-supported platforms. Good news for those advertisers: Marketers don’t need to alter their creative for airing on those digital video areas.

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