Oprah Winfrey’s new cable network OWN is having some early growing pains. After exploding out of the gate in the ratings, viewership has declined significantly.
While OWN’s premiere averaged 1 million primetime viewers last weekend, Sunday dropped to 822,000. Monday fell to 394,000, followed by Tuesday hitting 315,000.
After a heavy curiosity-driven tune-in, such a steep decline isn’t really all that surprising. Cable networks have historically launched soft and quiet, gathering viewers gradually over a period of years. It’s OWN’s strong debut that remains truly unusual here, and proves there’s plenty of viewer interest in the channel.
OWN CEO Christina Norman points out that the network is just getting started.
“Launch is only the beginning for us,” she says. “Our goal was to double Discovery Health Channel’s ratings and move from a network ranked in the 40s to a network ranked in the 20s. So far we’re meeting those figures.”