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Bravo Analysis


Perhaps more than any other network in cable, Bravo has a "feel." It's bright, highly energetic and exudes an urban, upscale, sassy sensibility. The network has kept that vibe from becoming snobbish or off-putting with a winking admission that this is all just good, light, entertaining fun -- and everyone's invited. And though that's mostly work accomplished in development, production and post efforts, it's also a scheduling strategy. There's almost never a show on Bravo's air that feels out of place. So, even though they stack very heavily, a viewer watching at, say, 9pm every night, will see a different program each day, but still feel very much a Bravo viewer.

Bravo defines and schedules its programming around themes of food, fashion, beauty, design and pop culture, and plans to add digital themed program in the upcoming season.


Live+SD Primetime Ratings Comparison November 2012 vs. November 2011  (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

November 2012: Bravo’s bottom-line primetime ratings improved slightly over last month, but took 23% declines on core women 18-49 vs. last year. Every night except Thursday took a double digit decline. THE REAL HOUSEWIVES franchise continues to dominate the line-up, with over 40 hours of programming taking over the space both this year and last. While the HOUSEWIVES’ declining ratings are  not the sole reason for the losses, although they are certainly a driving force.

This month saw the HOUSEWIVES from ATLANTA, BEVERLY HILLS and MIAMI on the scene, with Sunday’s ATLANTA ladies bringing in the biggest numbers. Still, they were off their game, down 10% from last year. The next two top rated programs on the air were THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS and THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MIAMI. After that the next-best rated program on women 18-49 was TOP CHEF.

And to further illustrate the dominance of the HOUSEWIVES, TOP CHEF pulled numbers 18% below MIAMI and 4% below the primetime average. The venerable, award winning TOP CHEF franchise has been fading as well. The spin-offs have not resonated, for instance, the docu-reality LIFE AFTER TOP CHEF was near the bottom of the ratings ranker this month. TOP CHEF JUST DESSERTS had a couple of seasons, before it was cancelled and it never over-performed. TOP CHEF MASTERS is perhaps the most successful take on the theme, but it dropped some ratings this past season as well. This month TOP CHEF is in Seattle for its 10th season, and although the ratings have been well off the pace (worst start to date), they are starting to pick up.

FLIPPING OUT and MILLION DOLLAR DECORATORS covered the home / design genre on Tuesday nights this month. Neither program was on the air last year, but Tuesday nights took a 23% hit, right in line with the bottom line primetime average.

START UPS OF SILICON VALLEY was Bravo’s entrée into a new genre….tech and digital. The show was roundly panned and even blamed for hurting the capital venture industry, but even worse, did pretty poorly in the ratings department. It consistently dropped ratings each week, pulling a smaller and smaller percentage of its HOUSEWIVES lead-in. It was moved to Tuesday nights in December, where future prospects don’t look great.

The final tug on the bottom line was movies. They dominated Saturdays and filled in on Thursdays. They all seemed out of place with titles like Meet the Parents and Overboard, and none of them were able to pull in big audiences.