OWN generates 2.4 million for Friday’s Armstrong chat

Cabler introduced new viewers to net with exclusive interview

The second night of OWN’s interview with Lance Armstrong drew 1.8 million for its first airing Friday night and 2.4 million over two showings.

That was an expected decrease from the highly anticipated Thursday chat when 3.1 million watched the first telecast and 1.3 million more watched later that night for a total of 4.3 million.

In a global reach, OWN said the interview reached 15 million tuned in worldwide in addition to the 12.2 million U.S. cume.

Originally, OWN had planned to air the Armstrong special for only one night, but the Discovery-owned cabler felt it had enough material to spread it out over two days.

As widely expected, Armstrong confessed to blood doping taking performance-enhancing drugs that helped him win seven Tour de France races. In Friday’s segment, he spoke of how his family and children have been adversely affected by the controversy that has stewed over the years.

Though the overall numbers might have been less than what some had expected, the network received huge amounts of press in addition to hundreds of thousands of men tuning in to the channel for the first time.

Net is hoping that those who tuned in over both nights will sample OWN’s upcoming programs that were heavily promoted during the two telecasts, including tonight’s season premiere of “Our America With Lisa Ling.”