B70.2119 – Spring 2011
CASE: The CW
By Jennifer Dale
The major challenges in launching a TV network are the following: Organization: Finding a good team to work with and dividing responsibilities. Distribution: Looking into negotiating with possible other affiliated stations to ensure that the network reaches as many viewers as possible. Marketing and Branding: Find a name that fits the image, which represents the lifestyle of the demographic the network is planning on targeting. Selling Advertising: To make sure that advertising profitable as primary revenue source, high ratings are needed. Programming: Make sure the network has a new successful original show. Would drastically increase popularity of the network.
With My Network TV, FOX went into direct competition with CW. They stopped promoting UPN programs and targeted the almost identical demographic, 18-49, as CW network. They attracted other affiliate television stations (at the end covering 82% of the country) that otherwise would`ve chosen CW. Most of those were former UPN and WB affiliates, i.e. affiliates that “should`ve” gone to CW. It seems like an unfair battle, since FOX had more average ratings (see Exhibit 1a) than UPN and WB together in 2005-2006. Since FOX and CW are rather direct competitors I would`ve probably recommended the same response. FOX didn`t want to risk loosing their 18-49 viewers.
The programs I would show are Everwood, Veronica Mars and 7th Heaven. Even though Everwood`s viewer demographic is skewed a bit older, it still has a loyal three mio viewer fan base (which even sent fan mail to save the show), which shouldn`t be taken for granted for future viewer ratings (especially for building the network in the first two years). The best time slot for it would be Monday 9pm (right after 7th Heaven), since it attracts a similar audience to 7th Heaven, keeping them tuned in (See Exhibit 3). Veronica Mars, seen as “the natural...