'Enterprise' To Bring Wealthy Viewers To UPN

By Christian
June 19, 2001 - 7:09 PM

When Enterprise launches on UPN, it is very important for the network that the show attracts as large an audience as possible. Not just because advertisers are interested in reaching as many people as possible, but because they want to reach the wealthiest people possible - and Star Trek has always done well for UPN in getting rich viewers to tune in.

According to a new analysis that appeared on Inside.com yesterday, Star Trek: Voyager was by far the show with the richest viewers on UPN. Voyager scored an 87 on the so-called $75,000-index, which measures how much of a show's audience skews towards households with an annual income of $75,000 or more. The index is calculated by taking a show's ratings in that income group and dividing them by the total ratings, meaning that the higher the score is, the larger the share of wealthy people among a show's audience.

UPN has traditionally not been very effective in attracting wealthy people to the network. Its average score on the index was only a 57 last year, the lowest of any network. The WB followed with a 75, while the average moved up via Fox's 81, ABC's 93, and CBS's 97 to the absolute winner, NBC with a 114.

One of the reasons UPN has been doing so badly is because of its reliance on WWF Smackdown! That show achieved only a 45 on the index, making it one of the shows on television with the smallest amount of wealthy viewers among its audience. Initially, the show compensated for this by drawing in large numbers of teenage viewers, who make up for their low overall income by having a large disposable income, making them an attractive target for producers of entertainment goods. However, this year teen viewership for Smackdown was down by an alarming 34 percent, making the show increasingly less attractive for UPN.

Fortunately for UPN, it should be able to increase its drawing power to richer viewers next season, when it adds Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Roswell to its schedule. On the WB, those shows scored an average of 80 and 75 on the $75,000-index, respectively, and they should go a long way to increasing UPN's overall score. By doing this, they will continue a trend that already started last year, as UPN's score managed to rise from 50 to 57.

For a more in-depth look at the success all six networks have had in attracting wealthy viewers, as well as a look at the average age of those networks' viewers, please check out the full article by Inside's Tom Bierbaum.

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