MyNetworkTV on Upswing, Thanks To Wrestling
A couple of years ago, News Corp. launched MyNetwork with a full slate of low-cost telenovelas, such as the campy "Fashion House" with Bo Derek. But ratings were awful, so in October, the network began airing "WWE Friday Night SmackDown," which had previous gigs on UPN and the CW. The results have been dramatic: Season to date, MyNetwork is up 73% in total viewers, to 1.7 million, per Nielsen. Last week it hit a high, averaging 2.4 million viewers.
Whether MyNetwork can keep this momentum, however, is a big question mark. Ultimately, MyNetwork will face the same problem that UPN and the CW did. Though wrestling can help draw audiences, getting those young guys to stick around to sample other programming has proven to be no easy task.