It’s still too early to tell but early results are in and Ophrah has yet another hit on her hands with OWN. Did we every really doubt her… come on… did we… really?

About 770,000 people tuned in on New Year’s Day for the inaugural hour of OWN, which Discovery expects to be profitable within its first year. Above, Oprah Winfrey with Christina Norman, C.E.O. of OWN, and David Zaslav, president and C.E.O of Discovery Communications.OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network About 770,000 people tuned in on New Year’s Day for the inaugural hour of OWN. Above, Oprah Winfrey with Christina Norman, C.E.O. of OWN, and David Zaslav, president and C.E.O of Discovery Communications.

Discovery Communications expects Oprah Winfrey’s cable channel to achieve profitability in its first year.

Discovery and Ms. Winfrey flipped the switch on OWN, short for the Oprah Winfrey Network, on New Year’s Day. The new channel enjoyed heavy sampling among viewers over the weekend, though executives have cautioned that they expect a bumpy ratings ride in the beginning.

Brad Singer, the chief financial officer for Discovery, said at an investors’ conference Tuesday that OWN should be “Ebitda positive” in 2011 “because of ad acceptance and good performance.”

Ebitda is shorthand for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and is a standard measure of operating profitability.

Discovery had previously told analysts and reporters not to expect the joint venture to turn a profit before 2012 or 2013.

Nielsen data showed that about 770,000 people tuned in for the first hour of OWN on New Year’s Day, and almost 1.2 million watched two prime-time episodes of “Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes,” a reality show about the last season of her talk show.

Programs that did not feature Ms. Winfrey did not fare quite as well, but OWN said that “Ask Oprah’s All Stars,” a special featuring Dr. Phil McGraw and others, attracted 968,000 viewers on Sunday night.

Read more at mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com