You can always depend on E! to take the chill out of February with two of the hottest TV award ceremonies of the year: the 59th Grammy Awards on the 12th, and the granddaddy of ‘em all, the 89th Academy Awards, better known as “The Oscars”, on the 26th. For over 20 years (and counting,) E!’s “Live from the Red Carpet” show has provided viewers with an up-close look-see at all the glitz and all of the glamour to these marquee annual events which celebrate excellence in music and cinematic achievements over the past year.
E!’s “Red Carpet” franchise extends to several award shows (including the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards) and represents the sort of opportunistic programming niche that cable has carved out in light of (long-held) exclusive broadcast rights to certain high profile TV events. (Animal Planet’s canine tie-in to the NFL Super Bowl — “The Puppy Bowl” — is a classic example.) With E!’s “Red Carpet” events, there’s no need to fly out to L.A. to catch all the glam as top-shelf Hollywood talent strolls down the red carpet in all their sartorial splendor. Just grab a front row seat in the quiet and comfort of your own home.
It should be noted, however, that some wear and tear appeared in E!’s “Red Carpet” franchise last February (2016) with ratings and shares off dramatically from the prior year. Some of the erosion can is attributable to the decline in overall television usage as viewers migrate (especially younger ones) to all things digital. That said, the February “Red Carpet” events still managed to accrue rating and share levels that were more than 3-times the audience E! normally attracts for that month:
Despite a fall-off in ratings, advertisers can depend upon an upscale audience drawn to the “Red Carpet” events, and last February was no exception with the highest rating (1.59) accruing to homes with an average annual income of $175,000 – $199,000:
Large Market Appeal
When it comes to Red Carpet event ratings on E!, there’s a decided large market skew. For example, several of the largest markets can be found amongst the Top 25 DMAs such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta. We took a deeper dive into the relationship between market size and Red Carpet ratings in the chart below. We first ranked the entire DMA list (200+ markets) from the largest market (New York / 7.37 Million HHs), to the smallest (North Platte, Nebraska / 14,420 HHs.) We then divided the markets into 5 equal groups (or quintiles) of ~40 markets each, and calculated the average HH universe estimate and average Red Carpet HH rating for each quintile. The largest market group (i.e., Quintile 1) has an average universe of ~1.70 Million HHs per market, which generated – on average — a Red Carpet HH rating of 1.19. The smallest market group (i.e., Quintile 5) has an average universe of only ~64,000 HHs per market. These small markets generated an average .69 HH rating — 42% lower than the largest markets:
Local Cable Advertising Demand
Local cable advertising demand for the Red Carpet events has been quite robust. Over the past two years, nearly 600 Viamedia cable clients ordered over 3,600 30-second spots on E!’s Grammy and Oscar Award shows. On average, that’s three commercials per client (per year) across 58 markets (three-quarters of Viamedia’s national footprint.)
(Source: B.I.G.SM database — Copyright © 2017 by Viamedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved)
In terms of local cable advertising categories, Automotive’s 29% share is a tad less than what we typically see company-wide, whereas Entertainment & Travel and Tune-In (TV/Radio/Media) shares (15% and 13% respectively) are significantly higher:
An Infotainment Franchise
E! doesn’t stop with the Grammy and Oscar annual awards… oh, no! There are also “Red Carpet” events for the Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards shows. But the creatives over at E! have gone even further. They not only turned several major award ceremonies into their own branded “Red Carpet” event, they even created programming content around that event with programs such as, “Countdown to the Red Carpet”, “Fashion Police” and the “Live Post Show – E! After Party.” In essence, then, E! has built an entire infotainment franchise around stars just strolling down a red-colored carpet dressed to the nines with their significant other! It’s just the sort of sunny, warm L.A. kind of fun the rest of the nation loves watching as it trudges through the cold dark days of February.
Written by Jonathan Sims
VP Media Research, Viamedia