Looks like the “Pay-Per-View” Oprah is not working out quite like the free version. So far.
After two months, Oprah’s gargantuan fan base, who usually devours whatever social recipe she prepares, have turned awar from her channel. OWN’s less-than-stellar ratings have some media outlets speculating whether she has finally bitten off more than she can chew.
Winfrey, 57, is pleading for patience for OWN despite posting daily numbers that are considerably worse than the Discovery Health channel it replaced. At any given time this month, there have been about 135,000 people watching OWN, according to the Nielsen Company, and only about 45,000 of those people are women ages 25 to 54, the demographic that the channel is focusing on.
In comparison, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” over a 25-year period has made her one of the wealthiest and most influential women in the world, pulls in seven million viewers on a daily basis. The OWN Network hasn’t even pulled in 1.3 million viewers combined since it‘s New Year‘s Day debut. And she hemorrhaging fans with every passing day.
Could it be the fact that viewers have to dig into their already deflated wallets in order to tap into the channel have anything to do with it? Well, based on the plethora of complaints that flooded Oprah-owned websites after fans found out they had to pay, the answer is an unqualified “yes.”
Oprah’s declining fan base can be traced back to her unqualified support for an obscure junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, for the presidency. Still, Oprah’s show not only made her the first black female billionaire, she also turned many unknowns into millionaires and famous personalities through her legendary book club. Could the gold dust be turning into coal?
Supporters insist that ratings will improve when the chat show queen starts appearing more frequently towards the end of the year. As reported by the Telegraph, “she will still be busy filming ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ for the ABC network until September, but will then be able to devote more time to her own channel. That will include having her own show two or three nights a week.” –terry shropshire