Savvy cable execs are beginning to circle around the dying carcas that could very well become of ABC Daytime, in the wake of losing syndication legends Oprah Winfrey and Regis Philbin, while making the disastrous call to cancel beloved soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live. A new Broadcasting & Cable report reveals how cablers like Oxygen, Lifetime and WE are gearing up to go after the potential ratings points the networks will likely cede by getting out of the multigenerational soap opera game.
Earlier this month, ABC canceled the soaps All My Children and One Life to Live, which followed CBS' killing off last fall of As the World Turns. And talk show diva Oprah Winfrey is departing broadcast syndication after more than two decades of ratings dominance. Not surprisingly, the female-targeted cable networks believe they have an opportunity to grab a greater share of ad dollars in the 2011 upfront, as the supply of gross rating points in the demo on broadcast continues to dwindle
"The upcoming cancellation of those soaps are going to take a lot of ratings points out of the market," says Dave Cassaro, president, cable advertising sales, NBCUniversal, which owns Oxygen (along with other networks including USA, Bravo and SyFy). That translates to a lot of ad money, particularly in the package goods category being freed up and "looking for new homes," he says.
If the cancellations of Guiding Light and As The World Turns taught us anything, it's that it's highly unlikely for a cabler to pick up a cancelled soap opera, but wouldn't it be awesome if one of the niche womens' channels picked one or both the ABC soaps up? A blogger can dream, can't he?