Oprah Winfrey Network Draws More Than 1 Million Viewers

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Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey's cable TV network drew more than 1 million viewers on its debut over the weekend.

The new channel, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), launched at noon on New Year's Day, The Wall Street Journal said. It replaced Discovery Health in about 80 million homes.

The channel is a joint venture between Winfrey and Discovery Communications Inc (DISCA). Winfrey is betting she can build a loyal following for the new network from fans of her syndicated The Oprah Winfrey Show. The show drew audiences of nearly 7 million people.

At one point on Saturday night, the channel says more women between 25 and 54 were watching OWN than all but two other cable networks. Those networks were Walt Disney Co's (DIS) ESPN and General Electric's (GE) USA.

"The good news is people showed up when they marketed it aggressively and Oprah told them to go out and watch," Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at brokerage firm BTIG, told The Wall Street Journal. "The real question is how capable they'll be of sustaining the ratings over the coming months and years."

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