Discovery Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

Discovery Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Some new additions to the Discovery schedule in the month of March. Mondays had SONS OF GUNS added to the lineup along with AMERICAN CHOPPER: SENIOR.  Tuesdays were a mix of programming this month.  Wednesdays featured a lineup of SONS OF GUNS and newcomer DOOMSDAY BUNKERS.  Thursdays in March transitioned to a lineup of AUCTION KINGS.  Fridays remained Gold night (#ThankGoldItsFriday).  Saturdays and Sundays cap the week with a mix of programming and specials.

MARCH 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / March 2012 vs. March 2011 (% Change)

HH

P18-49

P25-54

Monday 8-11pm

9%

47%

50%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-14%

-22%

-13%

Wednesday 8-11pm

1%

21%

26%

Thursday 8-11pm

-8%

-14%

-15%

Friday 8-11pm

34%

64%

68%

Saturday 8-11pm

-2%

14%

0%

Sunday 8-11pm

38%

41%

59%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

8%

20%

24%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

The newest blue-chip special from Discovery and the BBC, FROZEN PLANET, took the top spot as the number one program for the month of March.  Skyrocketing Sunday nights to a 38% increase in overall viewers compared to March 2011, the night was the strongest of the week from Discovery, even beating out Friday night's gold-themed lineup.  The #Thankgolditsfriday night still performed extremely well, with new episodes of GOLD RUSH and BERING SEA GOLD bringing in numbers well-above average.  Overall in March, Discovery was up 8% compared to last year, but down 1% compared to February.  There is still room for improvement in Discovery's schedule.

Monday nights saw an increase of 9% compared to last year, and even more among the key demographics.  AMERICAN CHOPPER: SENIOR continues to rate and the show is up 37% in overall viewers compared to last year.  This is one franchise that doesn't appear to be going anywhere.  SONS OF GUNS took over the schedule for Mondays at 10pm, but tired episodes were less successful.

Tuesdays took the biggest year-to-year hit out of all the nights of the week, falling 14% in overall viewers.  The night has been on the weaker side for Discovery over the last few months, and in March, the schedule changed from week to week with no consistency.  The only program to hit average was a re-airing of FROZEN PLANET on 3/20.

Wednesday nights saw nice year-to-year improvement among the key younger demographics.  DOOMSDAY BUNKERS joined the schedule at 10pm, and started off well on 3/7/12, enjoying a solid lead-in from SONS OF GUNS.  Numbers fell for both programs throughout the month, however.  The night is, by far, the youngest-skewing of the week of Discovery (7% younger than March of 2011.)

Thursday nights in March were all about AUCTION KINGS, with the program dominating the lineup.   Numbers hovered just about, or below average throughout the month.  The night took an 8% hit compared to last year.  AUCTION KINGS is down 11% compared to a year ago, and numbers are down across all of the key demographics.  How can Discovery find a new take on the genre - especially one so prevalent among the competing networks?  That will likely be a hole Discovery will be looking to fill in the remainder of 2012.

Saturdays were a struggle this month for Discovery, as a haphazard programming lineup took a 2% hit from last year.  The night is also among the weakest, and nothing hit average this month.

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