National Geographic Channel Analysis - October 2011

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NGC continues to mix anthologies such as NAT GEO PRESENTS and EXPLORER with series both new (FISH WARRIOR) and time-honored (INSIDE). Stunt scheduling utilizes multiple runs of popular series or thematically-similar specials slotted to maximize audience flow.

The Anthologies are utilized to house series as well as one-offs and mini-series. Premiere episodes of series often repeat the following week under one of the anthology umbrellas (e.g NGC FRIDAY) as a lead-in to the current week's new episode of the same series.

Monday and Tuesday are generally anthology driven, while Wednesday is expanding from a crime-oriented focus to other genres that might be considered on the "sensational" side for NGC.

Thursday remains Science & Technology-themed for the present time, while previously Dog-oriented  Friday and Natural History-centric Saturday are experimenting with a number of genres, now that all animal-related fare is migrating to sister network Nat Geo Wild. Sundays are anthology slots used for specials, themed stacks and one-offs.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /October 2011 vs. October 2010  (% Change)




Monday 8-11pm




Tuesday 8-11pm




Wednesday 8-11pm




Thursday 8-11pm




Friday 8-11pm




Saturday 8-11pm




Sunday 8-11pm




MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

After three months of solid gains, NGC rocketed into 4th Quarter as #5 Ad-supported cable network for year-to-year HH growth. Six of seven nights saw HH and/or demo increases, with four nights up by more than 1/3 in at least one category.  Science fare remains a challenge as the new Sci-Tech-themed Wednesday night was the one night to lose viewers from last year. October was down slightly overall compared to September.

New anthology SECRET ACCESS joined Monday's NG PRESENTS offerings, with a mix of one-offs. NG PRESENTS consisted of episodes of BORDER WARS  and HARD TIME. While the night was essentially flat with last year, delivery was off slightly across the board from September.

Tuesday showed strong demo growth for the fifth month in a row, boosted by FRONTIER FORCE, as well as the special NAVAJO COPS, which ran under the 8pm NAT GEO PRESENTS umbrella. Demos were down in the 20-30% range from September, however, as FRONTIER FORCE was replaced after three weeks with one-offs and mini-series which earned 81% of their predecessors' HH rating.

New series ROCKET CITY REDNECKS and MAD SCIENTISTS premiered Wednesdays, which became the new night for Sci-Tech fare in October. A block of ROCKET CITY REDNECKS  premiered to above average ratings the first Wednesday of the survey, but was unable to achieve that level of delivery again. 10pm MAD SCIENTISTS generally failed to hold its REDNECKS  lead-in, finishing well below the network's average Prime ratings for the month. HH and demos were down by 1/3 from last month.

Even though it had finally begun to show some growth, Thursday's previous Science-themed block was replaced by a variety of genres, running mostly under the new EXPEDITION UNKNOWN  anthology. A block of the mini-series BRAIN GAMES running under EXPLORER represented the top offering for the month. Overall the night grew by 2/3 or more over last year's NGC SCI-TECH and NAKED SCIENCE  anthologies. Delivery was up modestly from last month.

Crime dominated Fridays, as new anthology NG INVESTIGATES  replaced JURASSIC CSI and NG FRIDAY, and led to a near-doubling of Male demos over last year's DOG WHISPERER-led lineup. NG INVESTIGATES featured one-offs, mini-series and episodes of LOCKDOWN. A block of OUTLAW BIKER episodes was the top offering for the month. Numbers for all men demos were up sharply from last month as well.

Saturday was up modestly in RP18-49, driven by yet a repeat block of ROCKET CITY REDNECKS in the Super Saturday anthology.

Sunday's growth was driven by the mini-series BRAIN GAMES, running under NG PRESENTS, as well as the one-off RUSSIA'S TOUGHEST PRISONS. Demo growth over October 2010 was fueled equally by men and women, with numbers flat compared to September.