When Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel took over Discovery Health Network back in 2011 officials at Discovery made the radical claim that they would be able to see a return on their investment within it’s first year. Unfortunately, and to everyone’s surprise, OWN didn’t do nearly as well as everyone anticipated and instead of seeing that immediate return, Discovery began paying more money to help ensure the success of this new project, totaling in $510 Million in loans.
After some reconsideration, soul searching restructuring by Discovery’s Chief Executive, David M. Zaslav and Oprah herself, Discovery released a more tangible outlook that forecast OWN turning a profit in the second half of 2013. Well proudly, just short of their predictions, Zaslav went on record to say that OWN was “ahead of the originally anticipated second half of the year goal of cash flow break even.”
In addition to axing Rosie O’Donnell’s elaborate talk show and some internal lay-offs, a great deal of this turn-around goes to the investment in new sitcoms such as Tyler Perry’s “Have and Havenots” and “Love Thy Neighbor” which lead to more ad sales and better subscriber fees from cable and satellite providers.
While officials say it could still be a few years before Discovery’s full investment is recuped, it’s anticipated that OWN will be “tens of millions” of dollars ahead of schedule for the full year. Great news no doubt for Oprah’s team and a huge step for Mr. Tyler Perry. With things finally going in the right direction we’re excited to see what new programming we’ll get to see with the new freedoms OWN will be able to operate within.