Network Launches With Carriage on Cablevision Systems Corporation
New York, NY – August 18, 2009 – Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC today announced the launch today of Wedding Central (www.wedcentral.com), a new 24/7 multiplatform, interactive programming service devoted to weddings, dating and romance. Beginning today, the new channel will be available to subscribers of Cablevision’s iO digital cable package. Kim Martin, WE tv’s President and General Manager, will oversee the day-to-day operations of Wedding Central. The announcement was made today by Ed Carroll, President and Chief Operating Officer of Rainbow National Services.
Wedding Central will be the ultimate television destination for women to indulge in all things related to weddings, dating, and relationships. The network is launching with over 300 hours of series, specials and movies amassed from the unsurpassed library of popular relationship and wedding programming found on WE tv, with plans to offer channel-specific programming in the next year. At launch, programming featured on Wedding Central includes series such as My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding, I Do?Let’s Eat!, Bride vs. Bride, Single in the City and Girl Meets Cowboy; as well as specials, How to Marry a Prince and Top 10 Wedding Looks.
Building on the growing capabilities of interactive television, Wedding Central will provide viewers with multiple opportunities to interact with the network’s programming and advertisers via their remotes. Participation will run the gamut from voting for their favorite bride to sharing their opinions on their favorite wedding dress to connecting directly with local and national advertisers.
To continue the immersive brand experience, WedCentral.com, the digital extension of Wedding Central, will offer a robust line-up of engaging original web content, featuring exclusive relationship and wedding-themed subject matter, blogs, polls, games, and user-generated content.
"It has been said that weddings are to women what sports are to men, and the success and popularity of wedding-themed programming on WE tv certainly bears that out," said Mr. Carroll. "There is such a large audience – especially among women 18-49 – interested in this type of content that it has become a genre unto itself. By targeting this desirable demographic, Rainbow will offer distributors and advertisers an attractive new venue in the marketplace."
Weddings are big business. In the United States, 2.2 million couples get married every year, generating a $60 billion dollar business. Dedicated wedding programming viewers are in the key accumulation stage of life that fuels their need for new information and products. Weddings not only engage the woman who is getting married, but everyone who is involved in the event.
Said Ms. Martin, "We know from our success with the category at WE tv, that wedding programming appeals to women and the allure extends beyond women who are getting married. Weddings naturally make for dramatic television, since they can offer a compelling window into other people’s lives. We have created the first network brand devoted to the genre in response to the enormous viewer demand for this type of programming."
Wedding programming consistently delivers strong viewership. Among women 18-49, 65% have watched wedding related programs on television and 40% watch at least once a month. Among loyal bridal viewers, 75% watch wedding-themed programming at least once a month. The June 2009 launch of "WE tv Wedding Sunday," featuring hit series such as Bridezillas and Amazing Wedding Cakes, drew over 1 million viewers each and series such as My Fair Wedding with David Tutera premiered to record numbers. WE tv’s bridal programming is among its most watched on-demand content. 1
Continued Martin, "Weddings hold a special place in women’s hearts. So many little girls grow up dreaming about their wedding day and they plan for it their whole life. Weddings encompass many activities that women love — entertaining, shopping, spending time with friends — all emotionally connecting situations that women relate to. Weddings are also occasions that motivate women to spend money, and that is attractive to advertisers."
The viewer who enjoys wedding-themed programming on WE tv is most likely to be a woman in her 30s, with a median income of about $58,000. She is 33% more likely to have a household income of more than $100,000 and is the key decision maker in the household when it comes to purchases. She is 30% more likely to live in an A county and 27% more likely to live in a
Top 10 DMA. 2
Research shows bridal viewers are also tech-savvy, trend-smart and more likely to shop online or surf the web to get more information about a show or product after seeing it on television. In addition, over half of women 18-49 are interested in one-button access to extra content, accessing coupon codes, and getting information about stores or businesses in their local area. 3
About Wedding Central
Wedding Central (www.WedCentral.com) is the first and only 24/7 destination where women, who are fascinated by all things wedding related, can go to get engaged in and entertained by the aspiration and drama of weddings. The network features channel-specific series, specials and movies all focusing on dating, relationships, and weddings. Wedding Central, a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC, is available on Cablevision’s iO digital cable service.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multiplatform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world’s most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC (The Independent Film Channel), WE tv, Sundance Channel, IFC Entertainment and VOOM HD Networks. Through IFC Entertainment, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a leading U.S. distributor of independent and foreign film with a unique day and date distribution model, "IFC In Theaters," that makes films available to a national audience by releasing them simultaneously in theaters as well as on cable’s On Demand platform; IFC Festival Direct features titles acquired from major international film festivals and initially offers them exclusively through On Demand; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and IFC Center, a state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of NYC’s Greenwich Village. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, an advertising sales company; Rainbow Network Communications, a full service network programming origination and distribution company; and 11 Penn TV, a company that manages Rainbow Media’s NYC studios and post-production facilities.
1Source: Nielsen Media Research, Live+Same Day Data. Bridezillas season 6 premiere (6/7/09, 9p-10p) vs. all prior Bridezillas season premieres for: HH Cov Rtg & P2+ (000) reach (6 min qual & 75% unification). Subject to qualifications upon request.
1Source: Nielsen Media Research, Live+Same Day Data. Bridezillas season 6 premiere (6/7/09, 9p-10p) vs. all prior Bridezillas season premieres, and Amazing Wedding Cakes season 2 premiere (6/7/09, 10p-11p) vs. season 1 premiere (9/7/08, 10p-11p) for: HH Cov Rtg & P2+ (000) reach (6 min qual & 75% unification). Subject to qualifications upon request.
2Source: Nielsen Media Research; 12/29/08-5/31/09; Live SD; WE tv Primetime 8pm-11pm Viewers P2+ Bridal (any bridal programming), Total Viewers (any programming including bridal) .
3Source: E Poll Market Research, 1051 W18-49 in cable/satellite/IPTV homes