Will USA self destruct by giving up its core audience?
The Happy-Time Network
At USA, all shows must be colorful, sunny and upbeat. As the No. 1 cable channel readies a host of new programs, a danger lurks—is the formula too formulaic?
USA Network has an estimated "asset" value of 14.4 billion dollars, many times more than the actual NBC network, valued at only 1.4 billion dollars. There is a case that Comcast did not buy Universal studios and NBC so much as it purchased USA and what came with it.
The average age of a USA viewer is 51.2 years old...while the choice prime "advertising" target remains an average age of 32. But everyone is going after those 32 year olds (or the range of 18 to 40), so why give up number one?
A successful mix, USA under Comcast is now doing what it has done to every other network it owns...adding wrestling, reruns of network shows and programs geared to a younger audience to compete against all other networks. With USA number one 12 to death, but lacking in the key 18 to 45 demo, they simply feel that they need to mess with the pie. Why?
The Wall Street Journal looks at the cable channel's recipe for success, which has led to big ratings even if most critics and Emmy voters dismiss many of its shows as empty calories.