*Oprah Winfrey, is set to expand her TV empire when her new cable television network, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, debuts at noon on Saturday.
The network, with over $107 million in startup costs, will replace the cable channel Discovery Health, available in about 80 million homes, and by the end of OWN’s first year, Winfrey’s network is expected to double is predecessor’s target audience in primetime. OWN is expected to produce at least 22 original series next year, with programs like “Ask Oprah’s All Stars,” launching Sunday.
“This will be trial and error,” said Winfrey, who will tape her last daytime TV show in May. “It’s going to be a process. It’s not going to happen immediately.”
A key part of Winfrey’s strategy is to charge much higher monthly subscriber fees than Discovery Health, which averaged just 252,000 primetime viewers this year.
“If you’re on the outside looking in, of course it looks like a big risk,” said Winfrey. “But for me, it’s not so much about going wider. It’s about going deeper, so that you have a platform that has a deeper impact.”
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