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  • SOAPNet Goes Down the Drain

    Fri, 28 May 2010 09:33:54

    SOAPNet Goes Down the Drain - Disney/ABC Television Group shuttering network in January 2012

    SOAPnet, the network dedicated solely to soap operas, which themselves are dwindling in numbers, will be shuttered in favor of Disney Junior, a brand new, 24-hour cable/satellite channel devoted to pre-school kids, according to Entertainment Weekly. SOAPnet will go off the air in January 2012. Disney Media Networks Co-Chair Anne Sweeney said the decision to shutter the cable channel was "not arrived at lightly" and that the viewer pattern research dictated the decision. In other words, not enough people are watching!

    "SOAPnet was created in 2000 to give daytime viewers the ability to watch time-shifted soaps, before multiplatform viewing and DVRs were part of our vocabulary," Sweeney said in a statement. "But today, as technology and our businesses evolve, it makes more sense to align this distribution with a preschool channel that builds on the core strengths of our company." I get it. No one cares about sudsers like they used to! Melodrama isn't as much fun as it once was.

    SOAPnet is available in 75 million homes and is the number one basic cable net in loyalty among women 18-49. It serves those soap opera-holics who didn't have time to catch original episodes of The Young and the Restless, Days of Our Lives, All My Children, General Hospital and more. In the DVR era, the network's services seem less viable than when it launched a decade ago.

    "It is sad news because it is a channel that's been dedicated to soap fans," Brian Frons, President of Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, told our friends over at EW. "It's been a terrific asset for us. But it's not a dink on soap operas. It's about Disney wanting to be have pre-school network, they looked for the space and realized the distribution already existed. They can grow Disney Junior because they have a super product, and they can take it internationally."

    Are you going to miss SOAPnet or did you even know it existed?

    —Amy Sciarretto

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