Cost of Oprah's OWN network skyrocketing

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The cost of launching Oprah Winfrey's TV network OWN is set to soar beyond its $100 million budget, because broadcasting bosses have already spent three quarters of the money before its 2011 debut.

Executives at Discovery Communications invested the sum in a joint venture with Winfrey to premiere the talk show queen's new network in January.

In a newly released report on second-quarter earnings, Discovery Communications boss Brad Singer admits that the firm has so far "spent $75 million ... on investment in the Oprah Winfrey Network," three quarters of the "maximum of $100 million that we're obligated to."


And costs look set to rise, in part because the launch has been delayed twice, after previously aiming for 2009 and mid-2010.

OWN has signed deals for several new star-studded series, including "Why Not? With Shania Twain," which will follow her life on the rebound after a messy public divorce, in addition to several documentaries produced by Winfrey's celebrity pals, such as Julia Roberts, Forest Whitaker and Goldie Hawn.

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