Lifetime, Hallmark Viewers Drop as Women Tune into 'Snooki,' 'Pawn Stars'

Courtesy of MTV Networks

While some traditionally female-focused networks saw lower first-quarter ratings for women 18-49, MTV, History Channel and Investigation Discovery are among channels that showed gains.

NEW YORK - Some women seem to be rather watching MTV's Snooki or Bravo's Bethenny Ever After in primetime these days than more traditional female-focused or -leaning cable networks, such as Lifetime and Hallmark Channel, according to the New York Post.

A&E Television's Lifetime saw primetime ratings drop 17% among women 18-49 in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, it said, citing Nielsen data. Hallmark Channel saw the same 17% decline among women in first-quarter ratings, according to the Post.

Meanwhile, Lifetime sibling History Channel, driven by reality show Pawn Stars, recorded a 31% increase in the key female demographic, the paper said.

MTV was up 67 percent in this regard for the first quarter thanks to Jersey Shore, while Bravo, driven by the Real Housewives franchise, saw a 37% gain, and even ESPN was up 35%, according to the Post.

It also mentioned Discovery Communications' Investigation Discovery as seeing a rise in female viewers thanks to such shows as Who the Bleep Did I Marry?

Robert Seidman, an analyst at the TVbytheNumbers blog, told the Post: "Women viewers just aren't tuning to the cable homes of daytime stars Oprah and Martha in nearly the numbers that they're tuning into Snooki, Bethenny, NeNe and the Pawn Stars."

How much networks attract women viewers affects not only their ratings, but also their advertising revenue. Decisions on how to reach women are likely to also play a role in the annual upfront advertising market this spring.

"Advertisers are coming to us because we have incredible delivery of women," Investigation Discovery president Henry Schleiff told the Post.

Women are a popular target demo for marketers because of their role in their household, said Brad Adgate, Horizon Media's senior vp, research. "They're the chief purchasing officers, so they're a great target for advertisers, and that's why so many networks are gunning for them," he said.