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Oxygen Cuts a Record for Bad Girls

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NBC Universal's Oxygen is taking a deeper dive into the music business, prepping a new release from singer Kimberly Cole that will feature songs from the upcoming season of the unscripted series Bad Girls Club.

Beginning Dec. 21, Cole’s latest collection of tracks will be available for download via iTunes, giving fans of the dance-pop starlet and the series some three weeks to familiarize themselves with the new material. (Season 6 of Bad Girls Club bows Monday, Jan. 10.)

Cole is a seemingly perfect choice to serve as the in-house chanteuse of Bad Girls Club; her current single, “Smack You,” is thematically of a piece with the series, which features a cluster of seven poorly socialized young women assaulting one another and trolling for bed partners in South Beach.

“Smack You” was featured throughout BGC season 5. The song reached No. 4 on the Billboard dance/club chart.

The Cole record marks Oxygen’s second significant foray into the music business, coming on the heels of its “Sounds Like Oxygen” initiative. Introduced in July 2009, that effort was designed to introduce viewers to a rotating cast of emerging artists. Cole is currently a featured performer on the network’s “Sounds Like” micro site.

Per Nielsen ratings data, the most recent run of 13 BGC episodes averaged 1.73 million total viewers, of whom nearly half (851,000) were women 18-49. Among the key adults and female demos, BGC out-delivered The CW in its Tuesday 9 p.m. time slot; in moving to Monday nights, it will go head-to-head with the broadcaster’s most popular show, Gossip Girl.

Oxygen began teasing Cole’s Bad Girls Club release on Monday, launching an out-of-home campaign in New York. The push coincides with a wider campaign in support of the season 6 premiere, which replaces a traditional headline with a Twitter hashtag (#UpToNoGood).

“Bad Girls fans are super engaged, they love to talk about the show and they live on social media,” said Jane Olson, svp, marketing and brand strategy, Oxygen Media. “Making our campaign headline a hashtag embraces that and gives them a new way to share their excitement for the upcoming season.”

Oxygen enjoyed its most-watched year ever in 2010, and is poised to close out the year with an average prime time delivery of 479,000 total viewers, up 13 percent from 2009. Through Dec. 12, the network also put up its best numbers among viewers 18-49 (252,000, up 13 percent) and women 18-49 (184,000, up 10 percent). National ad sales revenue is expected to be up 14 percent versus a year ago, as the network added 69 new sponsors to its roster.