|Oprah Winfrey Network|
|Launched||January 1, 2011|
|Headquarters||West Hollywood, California, United States|
|Replaced||Discovery Health Channel|
|Available on most American cable systems||Channel slots vary on each provider|
|Zazeen (Canada)||Channel 118 (HD)|
|PlayStation Vue||Internet Protocol television|
The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is an American pay television channel jointly owned by Harpo Studios and Discovery, Inc. It debuted on January 1, 2011, in approximately 80 million homes, replacing the Discovery Health Channel (DHC).
In late 2012, Tyler Perry partnered with OWN to provide it with scripted television programming. One of Perry's series, The Haves and the Have Nots has consistently posted very successful ratings and has set a preeminent record on OWN, providing the network with its highest ratings to date. A March 11, 2014 episode of the series brought in 3.6 million viewers, surpassing the 3.5 million that tuned in for an Oprah's Next Chapter episode which was the network's previous highest rated viewing.
As of February 2015, OWN is available to approximately 81.9 million pay television households (70.3% of households with television) in the United States.
On December 4, 2017, Winfrey sold a majority of her stake in OWN to Discovery Communications, rendering them majority shareholder of OWN, and will continue in her role as Chief Executive Officer of the network.
OWN broadcasts in both standard-definition resolution (480i) and high-definition resolution (1080i). All markets of DirecTV, AT&T Uverse, Dish Network, Cablevision and Bright House Networks carry the channel in HD. Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox, Spectrum and Verizon FiOS carry the HD feed of the channel only in some markets. PlayStation Vue carries the channel at (720p) on its service, which is broadcast over the internet.
As of March 2014, the network's programming primarily consists of marathons, with eight-hour daytime blocks airing multiple episodes of the same series, usually a different show each day. The primetime programming varies and is repeated in late night, followed by an overnight movie and a morning block of talk shows including Dr. Phil, Rachel Ray, and The Nate Berkus Show. The programming includes a mix of original programs, specials, documentaries, and acquired movies. The channel does not air infomercials.
In Canada, the former Canadian version of Discovery Health, owned by Shaw Media, did not become a Canadian version of OWN, instead shifting to a reality-based format known as Twist TV. Instead, Corus Entertainment agreed to launch a Canadian version of OWN--its existing channel Viva was re-launched as OWN on March 1, 2011. During January and February 2011, selected OWN programming aired on both Viva and the co-owned W Network. Both Shaw Media and Corus share common ownership interests from the J.R. Shaw family, but are considered separate companies. Winfrey revealed to The New York Times that she is in final negotiations to release the channel in Brazil and Argentina.
An OWN Programming Block that features popular series such as Oprah's Next Chapter, Oprah's Lifeclass and Super Soul Sunday began airing on TLC UK in April 2013. The same programming block began airing Discovery Home & Health in Australia on August 4, 2013. It was announced on September 20, 2013, that the OWN Programming Block would begin airing in South Africa on DStv beginning October 17, 2013. OWN Programming Block also debuted in Poland and Russia in August and September; it also debuted on October 28, 2013, in Balkans/Romania/Bulgaria.
In October 2012, Tyler Perry entered into a partnership with OWN. According to the terms, all of Perry's new TV projects would air on the OWN network. These TV projects would comprise a total of 90 episodes and help the network fill its programming schedule with original content. These shows include a drama, The Haves and the Have Nots, a new original comedy, Love Thy Neighbor, as well as a third season of the comedy series Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse which formerly aired on TBS. All three series were renewed after their respective first seasons on OWN.
Within its first season, the drama series The Haves and the Have Nots has been critically acclaimed as being "one of OWN's biggest success stories" and achieved numerous heavily publicized season highs in ratings.
As of 2015, OWN has ordered even more Perry-produced shows because all of Perry's shows gross more than a million viewers each episode. According to network president Erik Logan, "Oprah Winfrey's partnership with Tyler Perry has been a tremendous success, garnering millions of viewers for OWN and setting ratings records,Tyler's original series have quickly become appointment viewing for a passionate audience and OWN is pleased to deliver 87 new episodes." Other shows on the network like LifeClass and Lisa Ling's 'Our America' have done fairly well, but nowhere near the success of Perry's shows.
During its first week after launch in January 2011, OWN was watched by an average of 505,000 viewers.
The average prime-time audience for 2011 was 264,000. As a result, Lisa Erspamer, Executive Vice President of Production and Development, left the network effective January 26, 2012.
The channel's losses were estimated to be $330 million as of May 2012. The channel responded by raising the channel's retransmission consent fee (OWN was provided to cable providers effectively for free for its first two years on air) to a level more in line with other basic cable channels, a move that Discovery expected to allow the channel to break even in late 2013.
The heavily promoted Oprah's Next Chapter episodes featuring former cyclist Lance Armstrong, in which Armstrong publicly confessed his usage of performance-enhancing drugs for the first time, drew 4.3 million viewers over two nights according to Nielsen ratings data. The Thursday night installment drew 3.2 million viewers, the second-highest total in the network's history to date, and the second installment on Friday night was seen by 1.1 million viewers. Oprah's interview with Whitney Houston's family in March 2012 retains the distinction of being OWN's highest-rated show, while the first installment of Armstrong's interview on January 17, 2013 and its repeat later that evening provided the network with its highest-rated evening to date.