- Posted March 20, 2012 by
Port Charles, New York
Viewers Urge ABC to Cancel The Revolution and Keep General Hospital
Excerpts From Actual Letter Dated 3/6/12 to Individual Disney Board Members
Dear Disney Board Member:
As a Disney shareholder and soap opera viewer, I am concerned ABC's investment in Katie Couric, along with the trust Disney enjoys among consumers, will be jeopardized by continued miscalculations and further erosion of advertising revenue and viewers. What businessperson would invest $20 million in a show for Katie Couric and then have as her "lead-in" the lowest rated show show among the 12 non-syndicated, daytime programs on CBS, NBC, and ABC?
Historically, during "ratings sweeps," ABC Daytime beats both CBS and NBC in the coveted demographic, females age 18-49.The cancellation of All My Children (AMC) and One Life to Live (OLTL) has taken a toll. In the February Sweeps just ended, ABC ranked second, behind CBS in every demographic and barely edged out NBC in the 18-49 female demographic.
Last June, President of the Disney/ABC Television Group, Anne Sweeney told the Wall Street Journal, "We saw a need to evolve daytime. It's a space that needs to be more competitive, and we're certainly putting resources against that." With ABC's competitive edge obliterated in less than six months, this begs the question for Disney board members and shareholders; were those resources wisely expended?
On a 2012 year to date basis, CBS's The Young and the Restless, Bold and the Beautiful, and The Talk have benefitted from ABC's miscalculation, gaining viewers vs. the 4th Quarter 2011:
CBS Performance Since Cancellation of AMC & OLTL
18-49 Female Demographic (000)
Live Plus Same Day
4th Q 2011
The Young and the Restless
The Bold and the Beautiful
On most stations, The Talk competed directly against One Life to Live. For the 4Q of 2011, OLTL averaged 43% more viewers than The Talk, and in the first three weeks of January (12/26-1/9) OLTL averaged 40% more viewers. Since the Introduction of The Revolution, The Talk has averaged 66% more viewers than The Revolution.
In a spate of interviews last June announcing Couric's show, Ms. Sweeney explained: "We are not announcing the cancellation of General Hospital," but Ms. Sweeney also added, "It is important to look at daytime like we do primetime — it really is about eyeballs, and we will go with the shows that have the most viewership."
Since the introduction of The Chew in September 2011 and The Revolution in January 2012, General Hospital has had significantly more viewers than either of these shows in the important 18-49 and 25-54 female demographic. GH's success has continued through the important February 2012 sweeps period:
February Sweeps 2012: 2/2 - 2/26
Live Plus Same Day Ratings
In the 18-49 female demographic, GH had 29% more viewers than The Chew and 80% more viewers than The Revolution. In the 25-54 female demographic, GH had 43% more female viewers than The Chew and 86% more female viewers than The Revolution.
General Hospital has risen to Ms. Sweeney's challenge to provide the "most viewership." Now it is time Ms. Sweeney keeps her word. No less than Disney's reputation as a brand consumers can trust is at stake here. Canceling The Revolution and moving General Hospital to the timeslot formerly occupied by One Life to Live would materially improve ABC daytime's competitive position and give Katie Couric the "lead-in" she and ABC affiliates deserve.
*This letter was provided as a sample. Please feel free to use any of it you wish to craft your own letters to local ABC affiliate station managers, General Hospital advertisers, Disney, etc.*