Oprah Winfrey’s Network, OWN has finally posted a profit, and has done so earlier than the parent company, Discovery Communications expected. OWN, which debuted in 2008 had been struggling to get off the ground and had – as of last year – lost a total of $330 million.
The goal of being profitable was realized faster than expected due to another prominent black media figure: Tyler Perry. The Madea franchise director and producer’s two new shows on Oprah’s OWN network helped to attract new viewers. According to nydailynews.com:
“Discovery Communications, which jointly owns the two-year old channel with Winfrey’s Harpo, said OWN moved out of the red faster than expected as two new Tyler Perry series — ‘The Haves and Have Nots’ and ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ — helped lure viewers.”
Those new viewers helped OWN to secure a multitude of new advertising clients. According to Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav, Oprah’s OWN was the fastest-growing cable network of the second quarter. As reported by cnbc.com:
“Zaslav said it had signed on 30 new ad partners and that the channel had the “highest growth of any cable network in the second quarter.”
That’s great news for Oprah, OWN and Discovery Communications, as the network had gotten off to rough start. Now that they’re profitable, they can begin to recoup the money lost, which makes Mr. Zaslav quite optimistic about the future of the network. He congratulated Oprah and the entire OWN team in a statement:
“I want to congratulate Oprah and the entire team at OWN for this significant milestone,” he said. “We remain very bullish on its long-term trajectory and our ability to drive continued asset appreciation in the future.”
The future is bright for Oprah and OWN. Now that they’ve found the right programming formula with the success of Tyler Perry’s new shows, hopefully they can continue to replicate the process and serve as an example for other black-owned networks like Magic Johnson’s Aspire.