Discovery Communications, the co-owner of Oprah Winfrey's new cable television network OWN, expects to see the network turn a profit in its first year, an executive said on Tuesday.
Brad Singer, the company's chief financial officer, told investors that the early response from advertisers had been promising and that as a consequence, OWN could become profitable earlier than expected. Discovery had previously indicated that it hoped that OWN would move into the black in 2012 or 2013.
"It's had very good advertiser acceptance, and we think the network should do fairly well from a ratings perspective," Singer said.
OWN, which launched on Saturday (Sunday, Australian time), is a joint venture between Discovery and Winfrey's company Harpo Productions.
The network performed strongly in the ratings at the weekend. Preliminary figures indicated that the launch programme at noon on Saturday was watched by 770,000 viewers, OWN said this week.
Prime-time programming between 8:00pm and 11:00pm on the same day attracted an average audience of around one million, putting it in third place among ad-supported cable networks.
Media Spy discussion: Oprah