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Soaps Still Deliver For Networks

When CBS' daytime drama "As the World Turns" ends its 54-year run this September, it'll be the end of an era. It is the last soap opera that actually lives up to the genre's moniker -- the only one still produced and sponsored by a soap maker, Procter & Gamble. But this isn't the end of the soap opera. The networks, media buyers and others who follow the genre believe it will live on as a part of major broadcast network TV for years to come.

Alan Picozzi, VP and director of research at Petry Media, notes: "There was a winnowing down with the soap operas. But the ones that remain are pretty solid performers." They are "All My Children," "General Hospital" and "One Life to Live" on ABC; "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "The Young and the Restless" on CBS; and "Days of Our Lives" on NBC. The soaps generate more ad revenue than network game shows and talk shows. The average soap pulled in $130 million between January 2009 and May 2010, compared to $100 million for the average talk show and $96 million for the average game show, according to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media.



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