Thursday, July 06, 2006

OLN's Tour de France Ratings Are Down...

Today, on MediaDailyNews they have an article entitled, "OLN Slowing On Tour de France Course." The article reports that "OLN HAS TAKEN ON SOME road rash for its 'Tour de France' coverage--down more than 40 percent in ratings after three days of the big cycling event. The cable network expected a significant ratings drop--especially in the post-Lance Armstrong era ... The event's first day this year on Saturday saw OLN's gross daily ratings sink 47 percent to a Nielsen 0.7 household rating from a 1.31 rating the year before. Sunday's numbers were a bit higher at a 0.85 rating, but down a hefty 41 percent from 1.44 a year ago. Monday's numbers pulled in a 0.81 rating, down from 1.67 a year ago."

Hmm..where to begin on why viewing coverage is down. If I worked in OLN's PR and Marketing department, I would be spending large amounts of money and time letting people know what stations OLN, or Versus, which is the stations new name this fall, is available on local cable. Do you know what station Versus is on your cable box? I don't. They should work with the top 20 markets to promote the station. Everyone knows what station ESPN is on with their local cable. It is just not the same with Versus.

It is interesting since Versus has a ton of potential. The Tour de France draws hard-core viewers which would be ideal to select target companies for marketing and advertising purposes. The NHL, which signed a three-year, $207.5 million contract last fall, has some of the most die-hard fans in all of sports. They are buying tickets to games in droves, but are not watching the games on TV. This is another extremely important market to advertisers.

Versus has jumped from 65 million to 70 million subscribers and should grow in the future. While I don't know a thing about running a cable company, it seems to me that one of the top three business objectives must be to raise the profile of the cable outlet. They can do this on MySpace, Versus Web site, Google, e-mail newsletters to subscribers or even ads in top tier newspapers letting people know where to find the station.

ESPN is the 500-pound gorrilla in the room and I would be shocked if some advertisers want to work with different media outlets to reach sports fans to create a relationship with their product or service.

You can agree with me or not, but the company has potential if it begins to place a strong emphasis on marketing and PR.


At 5:03 PM, Blogger Bob said...

I don't know what channel OLN/Versus is on, but I know how to use the Guide. No question there are potential ad dollars to be made here on coverage of alternative sports (like hockey).

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Milne said...

Bob -- some people are so lazy they won't spend the time using the guide. It is amazing

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Patterson said...

Props to myself for taking that picture of Josh at Fenway, circa 2003.

OLN is a channel I wish I could watch. I hear about great programming on that channel all the time, but never know where the hell to find it. So, go figure, I agree 100% with Josh. It's all about common sense, something large corporations lose as they get bigger.


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