[08/02/06 - 12:00 AM]
Hallmark Channel Breaks Out the Bubbly in Celebration of 5th Anniversary Successes

[via press release from The Hallmark Channel]

Hallmark Channel Breaks Out the Bubbly in Celebration of 5th Anniversary Successes

Independent Network Accomplishes Extraordinary Achievement in Short Time As Hallmark Channel Turns Five, the Network Celebrates its Continuing Triumphs in Programming, Ratings, Distribution and Ad Sales

STUDIO CITY, Calif., Aug. 2 -- Despite the early naysayers, since its unveiling on August 5, 2001, independent Hallmark Channel is an incredible success story. It has been lauded for having one of the most successful launches in cable history, for adding more subscriber homes than any other cable network in that time period, for adding more viewers than any other cable network since launch, for having the most engaged viewers of any cable network and for its leadership in the programming of original movies.

"We achieved some wonderful successes, despite the challenges of launching during a difficult environment, thanks to the belief our customers -- viewers, distributors and advertisers -- have in Hallmark Channel," said Paul FitzPatrick EVP and COO, Crown Media Holdings, Inc. He also noted that the organization, led by the senior leadership of David Kenin, Bill Abbott, Bill Aliber and Laura Masse, has worked diligently on meeting Hallmark Channel's vision.

Key benchmarks for Hallmark Channel:

* Hallmark Channel is a leader in original movie programming;

* the network continues to rank in the Top 10 among household ratings and Adults and Women 25-54 delivery, and just this past month (July) ranked #4 in Prime Time HH ratings;

* the network is currently in 74 million homes; and,

* it boasts the #1 Prime Time length-of-tune among all ad-supported cable networks.

A Leader in Original Movies

Hallmark Channel has built a stellar reputation the past five years by creating original movies that resonate with audiences of all ages; movies characterized by cinematic excellence and strong stories; and, movies that are relevant to viewers and their lives. The programming underscores the network's key asset -- its brand -- with programming that is family friendly and focuses on family, caring, trust and celebration.

Also key to the network's Original movies is the line-up of recognizable talent that has come to call Hallmark Channel "home." Patrick Duffy, Patty Duke, Dick Van Dyke, Katherine Heigl, Shirley Jones, Stacy Keach, John Larroquette, Shelley Long, Kellie Martin, Judy Reyes, Doris Roberts, Tori Spelling and Lea Thompson are among those who have starred and continue to star in the network's original movies, including its popular Mystery Movie franchises, "Mystery Woman," "Jane Doe" and "McBride."

Launch-to-Date Hallmark Channel's Ratings Soar

When Hallmark Channel launched in 2001, the network ranked #37 in Total Day HH ratings and #29 in Prime Time HH ratings. Currently, the channel ranks #10 in Total Day HH ratings and #4 in Prime Time HH ratings, an increase of +300% and +180%, respectively. The network also ranks in the Top 10 among Adults and Women 25-54 Total Day delivery.

In addition, since the network's launch Hallmark Channel has added more viewing homes and more total viewers P2+ than any other ad-supported cable network. The network added 537,000 homes and 672,000 total viewers in Total Day, and 873,000 homes and 1,151,000 total viewers in Prime Time.

Since launching, the ratings for Hallmark Channel's Original movies have grown significantly year-to-year. In the 2001-2002 season, the average HH rating of a premiere original movie was a 0.8 with 317,000 homes; in the 2005-2006 season, the average HH rating currently stands at a 1.9 with 1,347,000 homes. This marks an impressive +138% increase in HH ratings and an outstanding +325% increase in HH delivery. The same story holds true for the channel among Adults and Women 25-54 delivery with a +219% and +269% increase since launch, respectively.

Hallmark Channel also ranks among the Top 10 for year-to-year Prime Time growth (July '06 vs. July '05) in HH and key demos, ranking it #5 in HH growth, #8 in W18-49 and #8 in W25-54.

Hallmark Channel is a Home for the Holidays with some of the highest viewership occurring during the cross-promoted and highly publicized Holiday season. Since launch, the Top 3 highest-rated Original movies on Hallmark Channel are holiday movies:

* "Meet the Santas," 3.6 HH rating (12/17/05)

* "Loves Long Journey," 3.0 HH rating (12/3/05)

* "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus," 3.0 HH rating (12/11/04)

This upcoming holiday season, the channel will have the U.S. network premiere of the Academy Award(R)-winning feature film, "March of the Penguins."

Significant Distribution Gains -- More Than Any Cable Network

Hallmark Channel is currently available in 74 million homes, having achieved an unprecedented gain of more than 50 million full-time subscriber homes since launching in August 2001. This impressive growth marks the channel as the fastest-growing cable network during the time period.

The #1 Prime Time Length-of-Tune Among All Cable Networks For three straight quarters (4Q '05-2Q '06) Hallmark Channel ranked #1 in HH Prime Time length-of-tune and among the Top 2 in A25-54 LOT. In second quarter '06, the network averaged 27.4 minutes in HH LOT and 22.5 minutes in A25-54 LOT, among all ad-supported cable networks. By keeping viewers tuned in, the network is able to offer sponsors a solid return on investment amidst a crowded advertising landscape.

Year-to-date Hallmark Channel's original movies delivered 9 of the top 10 highest length-of-tune premieres among P2+, 6 of the top 10 original movie premieres among P25-54 LOT, including the #1 and #2 movies, and 5 of the top 10 original movie premieres among W25-54 LOT, also including the #1 and #2 movies. In addition, the network delivered 4 of the top 10 highest original movies among viewer ad retention scoring the #1 and #2 spots. The #1 movie in LOT, "Our House," delivered 41.1 minutes among P2+. "Our House" was also the #1 movie in audience retention retaining 100.5% of its total viewing audience (P2+).

Hallmark Channel is a 24-hour basic cable channel that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of 74 million subscribers. The program service is distributed through more than 5,300 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Crown Media also operates a second 24-hour linear channel, Hallmark Movie Channel. Through its subsidiary, Crown Media Distribution, LLC, Crown also distributes titles from its award-winning collection of movies, miniseries and films for exhibition in a variety of television media including broadcast, cable, Video-on-Demand and High Definition Television.

Source: Nielsen Media Research

SOURCE Hallmark Channel

  [august 2006]  


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