The 28 million is a “reach” stat; OWN defines this as anyone who watched one minute, or more, of the two-night interview.
OWN is among many cable networks that define “reach” as watching as little as one minute of a program. Broadcast networks, on the other hand, define “reach” as anyone who watches six minutes or more of a program. While broadcast reach numbers do not go into the record books – more on that later -- they are useful to advertisers because it’s assumed anyone who watched six minutes of a show probably saw an ad break.
Not sure same can be said of viewers watching just one minute of a cable confession – maybe they saw Armstrong discuss with Oprah his doping during his long career, maybe not. But it sure does make for a bigger number and a humdinger of a headline!
What goes into the record book is the average audience for a program. That stat averages how many people were watching, in any given minute in a show’s broadcast. Those news reports you saw about Fox’s new serial killer “The Following” clocking 10.4 million viewers? That’s the average audience.
According to OWN, an average audience of 3.2 million watched the premiere of part 1 of the interview on Thursday night. OWN says 1.1 million watched the encore at 10:30 p.m. Some of those 1.1 million who watched the repeat may also have watched the premiere and have been counted twice, an OWN rep told The TV Column. Cycling fanatics, maybe – or Oprah fanatics.
Anyway, Friday’s part 2 clocked an average audience of 1.8 million viewers at 9; the rerun at 11:30 snagged 620,000 viewers, though here too some may be duplicates.