Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network Declared ‘Profitable’ Ahead Of Schedule
If Oprah Winfrey believed the launch of her cable channel, OWN, would be a walk in the part, we forgive her. After all, who didn’t think a station – spearheaded by one of the most powerful women in the world – would be a raving success from the jump?
As such many faces (beyond Winfrey’s) have sported puzzled looks for the last two years as the network has tried to find its feet (and audience). Indeed, its staple mix of documentaries, lifestyle features, and entertainment skewed programming haven’t been the instant success execs hoped it would.
However, recent months have seen OWN begin to sprint thanks to high-profile episodes of Oprah’s Next Chapter, Iyanla’s Fox My Life, as well as Tyler Perry‘s critically hailed serial drama ‘The Have’s & The Have Not’s’ – starring diva Tika Sumpter.
By no means editorial bias, OWN’s upswing is very much factual.
Deadline reports that the channel’s prime investor, Discovery, has announced that OWN has become financially “profitable” — ahead of schedule.
Speaking to analysts today, Discovery CEO David Zaslav relayed how he forecast that OWN would break even in the second half of this year. However, in his Q2 report, he confirmed that the station “now cash flow positive and starting to pay down the investment Discovery has made in the venture.”
The channel’s rising ratings were cited as the main catalyst, with Tyler Perry’s ‘Have And Have Nots’ and ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ christened as “bona fide hits” that contributed to 39% ratings growth among women 25-to-54 in Q2 –“the highest growth of any cable network” in the quarter and made OWN a top 20 network for women in June — and made it a top-3 network for African-American women over the last eight weeks.
Zaslav says that OWN’s “positive cash flow generation should continue to increase” with new shows including Perry’s third series, For Better Or For Worse, which makes its debut this fall.
As keen appreciators of what OWN stands for and is striving towards, the news brings the widest of smiles to our face. More power to Ms. Winfrey!