Report: Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network Could Lose $143 Million
Posted on Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:33 AM PDT

Oprah121107_20_200.jpg LOS ANGELES, California (X17online) - SNL Kagan analyst Derek Baine predicted Wednesday that cable network group Discovery Communications will report a higher loss this year, due to programming problems and advertising and carriage fee revenues.

Oprah Winfrey's joint venture with Discovery, the OWN network, is rumored to be taking a write-down, but nothing has been confirmed and certain sources believe they will be able to avoid one.

OWN recently laid off 30 employees and canceled Rosie O'Donnell's talk show, causing many to speculate about financial trouble, but the network maintains it's progress and prosperity. A Discovery spokesman told THR that OWN is "on more solid ground and has more business momentum than ever before." Since Discovery doesn't disclose their financials, analysts have been doing their best to guess the current state of affairs.

"Net-net, we estimate that OWN lost $107 million on a cash-flow basis in 2011, but Discovery has invested much more," Baine said in his report, projecting that OWN's losses could rise to $142.9 million this year. Other analysts have been more optimistic.

Adding to the severity of the situation, Baine is also predicting obstacles on the revenue side. "With all of the bad press that the channel is getting, advertisers may tire of playing the waiting for shows to catch an audience," he suggested.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav remains optimistic that OWN will be a success.