Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Oprah and the Breeders' Cup

There has been much concern over the national television rating that the Breeders' Cup receives. For example, the 2006 Breeders' Cup broadcasted on ESPN had one of the lowest ratings in history: 462 people including the 3 guys living in Stanley, Idaho, that broke their satellite dish the day before while rolling empty beer kegs off the roof while performing "some kind of experiment involving gravity", and subsequently, ESPN was the only channel that would work. And even that, the reception was fuzzy.

But there is good news.

Oprah Winney - winner of the Barbara Fritchie Handicap, the Regret Stakes, the Schenectady Handicap, as well as being a live longshot in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint – is being profiled on Oprah Winfrey today. It is my understanding that Oprah Winney (horse) is being featured on Oprah Winfrey (billionaire talk show host) because, surprisingly, they have similar names, not because Oprah (most influential woman in the world) has developed a sudden interest in thoroughbred racing and is looking to purchase a few MEC racetracks with the loose change she has found under her sofa cushions.

I previewed the story. It’s nice. Nice horse. Nice story.

So how does this nice little story about Oprah Winney on Oprah Winfrey translate to a ratings bonanza on Breeders' Cup day?

According to The Independent, her television show has 8.4 million viewers daily and her website has 2.3 million unique viewers per month. 8.4 million people will watch a nice little story about Oprah Winney, and maybe 7.2 millions of them were actually paying attention to the feature while they were folding clothes or talking to their broker, and maybe 6.1 million of them will actually recognize that the feature involved "a horse", and maybe 4.9 million of them will make a mental note to watch the Breeders Cup just to see how Oprah Winney does, and maybe 2.6 million of them will actually be watching the Breeders Cup. And of that 2.6 million Oprah Winfrey viewers that tuned into ESPN to watch the Breeders' Cup, they will have contacted their family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors to watch the event as well because they "saw it on Oprah." That translates to 946.1 million viewers. That’s how Oprah works.

Randy Moss better make sure that he has his hair combed.


dana said...

I was really jazzed about this... of course I missed it (no tivo) but Teresa said they didn't give the BC any play outside of the taped segment on her site. Total shame!

Teresa said...

Sue, thanks for the comment and the welcome, and I agree that the Oprah piece was a nice bit about horse racing--I guess my cynical self resisted the emotional/teary stuff.

I'll be posting more this later, but I heard today the BC folks were at the Belmont Child Care Association and a segment is due to be aired on Friday's broadcast.