Commentary

Daytime Is The Next Frontier For Cable Networks

Cable networks get a lot of credit for ratings gains made against broadcasters. But the one area where they've done little damage to broadcast is daytime. Still, this could soon change.

 

If cable networks have any current say in this daypart, it probably comes from the big news personalities-hosted programs from news channels: Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. 

In pursuit of this daypart,  OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network  will soon launch.And Martha Stewart is already ramping up a multi-hour programming block on Hallmark Channel.

Cable daytime is starting to show some solid support from advertisers as well. According to the Wall Street Journal, major daytime advertiser Procter & Gamble has followed Oprah Winfrey to her new cable network, becoming a multi-year sponsor.

Where does this leave syndication? Still in good stead. Syndication programmers have continued to shine in daytime. And even with the departure of Winfrey and Stewart, there are still plenty of personalities around, like Dr. Phil, Ellen, Judge Judy, and Regis & Kelly.

Here's the good news for any daytime TV producers headed the syndication route: Ratings and HUT levels (Homes Using TV) are pretty stable. Not only that, but TV stations have plenty of scheduling needs and thus continue to be hungry buyers for that valuable talk show, court program, or off-network sitcom.

For the national syndicator, a somewhat successful daytime syndication hour can pull in $20 million to $30 million in advertising revenues a year.

Ratings are still generally higher for daytime TV shows on broadcast stations versus that of cable. But the distance between the two TV platforms looks to be getting closer.

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