National Geographic Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2007

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of September 27, 2007)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 25-54

AUGUST 2007 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

Most of the National Geographic Channel's lineup is one-offs, under various Strand names.  We'll break out which titles in each Strand worked best.  This month, though, the series TABOO topped the chart.  It was 4 of the Top 10 telecasts, too.  NG PRESENTS titles were up there, as well:  ZERO HOUR UPDATE (the month's top show episode for Nat Geo); IMPOSSIBLE HOTEL; LOCKDOWN: TOTAL CONTROL; INCREDIBLE ISLANDS: DUBAI; LOCKDOWN: WOMEN BEHIND BARS; SCIENCE OF GIGANTISM.  Looking at the top telecasts, versus the usually Stranded series, is a better indicator, we feel, of what works best in prime for National Geographic.

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Interesting statement on their website:  "National Geographic Channel is the only place in the world where you can watch all our programs around the clock. Our specials on other channels are just that: specials."It's true that their daytime looks a lot like prime. That's happening on more than a few networks these days (main competitor Discovery, for one).

So the strategies are, somewhat needless to say,  all over the map"¦"¦"¦that is to say, filled with one-offs, or anthology series or "Various".   Thursday is more or less big, guy stuff or science.  Friday is animals and pretty much all DOG WHISPERER at that., Saturday  is now officially all WILD"¦but that's about all we can see.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

JULY - AUGUST:

A few things, here and there:  INSIDE"¦.is now mostly at 9pm Wednesday, followed by TABOO at 10pm.  NAKED SCIENCE is pretty much the Strand 10pm Thursday.  10pm Friday is more "Various" than DOG WHISPERER, as in the past.

AND BEYOND:

Isolating every series change to "Various" would be a nightmare"¦but that's kinda how the schedule comes together.  The essence of the Nat Geo strategy is to run a good deal of one-offs in or out of existing Strands.  Hardly ever does one week resemble the next.

As far as series go, there are a few new ones coming in, that run in a 3-hour block on a particular night:  INSIDE 9/11; SPIES, LIES AND THE SUPERBOMB;  TRIBAL SECRETS; DOG WHISPERER; DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS; HUNTER AND HUNTED; FINAL REPORT; COWBOYS OF THE SEA; DEEP SEA DRILLERS; DAYTONA BIKE RALLY.
Here are the one-offs and specials coming your way from Nat Geo Channel in the coming weeks:

For NAT GEO PRESENTS  on Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays (some are Strands like INSIDE) -     INSIDE THE GREEN BERETS; ROAD TO WAR: IRAQ; INSIDE AL QUEDA; FINAL REPORT: BLACKHAWK DOWN/STANDOFF MAT RUBY RIDGE/COLUMBINE; ULTIMATE TSUNAMI/TORNADO/EARTHQUAKE; NG'S MOST DARING MOMENTS; SCIENCE OF CONJOINED TWINS; SCIENCE OF DWARFISM;  SCIENCE OF OBESITY; BRAIN CHILD; HUNT FOR LINCOLN'S ASSASSIN; MADNESS IN THE WHITE CITY; HUNT FOR THE BOSTON STRANGLER.  INSIDE THE HUMAN BODY is a big event coming September 16 (repeated 9/20, with a repeat of IN THE WOMB the day before).

For the WILD, EXPLORER and other animal strands, here's what they cover:; HYENAS AT WAR; 2 HUNTERS AND HUNTED; BEAR; ULTIMATE BEAR; HUNTER AND HUNTED: KODIAK ATTACK; ULTIMATE HIPPO/JELLYFISH INVASION/ULTIMATE CAT; ANIMAL EXTRACTORS (one of the episodes in the series); REVENGE OF THE ELEPHANTS; WHALE ATTACK;  HOOKED: MONSTER FISH; EXTREME ALASKA: BUILDING THE WILD/DENALI NAT. PARK)

Getting the push on the website lately: SECRET MADNESS IN THE WHITE CITY; LOCKED UP ABROAD: COLUMBIA; MOSCOW SEIGE; PERU'S LOST PYRAMID CITY; HISTORY OF THE BRA.  They will run, respectively, 9/24, 9pm; 9/24, 10pm;  9/25, 9pm.;  9/26, 9pm; 9/28, 10pm

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

First, the good news:  from last August, National Geographic is up 20% in both male demos.  The not-so-good news:  Women were down 25%.  As a statistical result, the HH shares were flat.  But, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday all showed growth.

Strands were trackable from last year:  THRILL ZONE was up big in men; ditto NG PRESENTS.  WILD had HH share growth.  EXPLORER and NAKED SCIENCE both dipped across the board, but it's all a title-by-title thing.  The only series reported from last year was DOG WHISPERER, which slid in HH shares, but zoomed up in men 25-54.

AUGUST 2007 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Nat Geo reported some good news this month:  The premiere of TABOO , Sunday, August 5 (9and 10pm) posted a .5 Adult 25-54 rating with 2.7 million total viewers and a median age of 36.1.

Here's our take: First, TABOO:  As we saw earlier, it was the top series and most of the top telecasts in August.  As you'll soon see, it definitely attracts an audience on its own.

Second, August to July:  Growth pretty much across the board.  Up 20% in men and 25% in HH as a result.  Women were down 25%. Three nights showed some growth, too. Let's look at them individually:

Monday - Second best night of the week, and every category grew from July.  Best night was all-LOCKDOWN (GANG WAR/WOMEN BEHIND BARS/TOTAL CONTROL)..built hour-to-hour. SCIENCE OF GIGANTISM was the only other program above the average for the night.  LIFE ON MARS was Monday's lowest performer of the month.

Tuesday - Lowest night of the week and it dropped from July on top of that.  8pm is a real challenge: KING ARTHUR; ATLANTIS; MOST ASTONISHING MOMENTS disappointed there.  Best stories were GHOST SHIPS and OPERATION CERTAIN DEATH (the latter a CRITICAL SITUATION episode).

Wednesday - Growth in HH and men from July and that big showing for the Wednesday premiere of TABOO.  Really big increases in HH and women, in particular, in the 10pm slot"¦and a lot better than INSIDE, which was the 10pm show, now at 9pm and it, too, always built from the lead-in.

Thursday - Low night with women - lowest of the week - and it dropped from July at that.  Only THRILL ZONE:  NEED FOR SPEED (BIKES and BOATS, two distinct episodes) and PREHISTORIC AMERICANS beat the night's jinx.  Lowest for the month this night was MAN-MADE:  THE COLOSSEUM.

Friday - Held steady in HH and men;  dropped 10% in women.  And since the night is pretty much all DOG WHISPERER, it's not the best news.  And the 9pm telecast sometimes drop from it's own 8pm lead-in.  Three of the weeks, the 10pm program improved on Cesar's lead-in:  CONQUERING NIAGARA; SCIENCE OF DWARFISM and SCIENCE OF GIGANTISM.

Saturday - All WILD and it's down in men; steady with HH and women.  Best of the bunch:  PLANET CARNIVORE POLAR BEARS/KING BEAR and a one-off, ULTIMATE BEAR (them bears do work for the net).  THUNDERBEAST was weak at 8pm one week, hurting PREHISTORIC PREDATORS lead-out in the process.

Sunday - Biggest night for Nat Geo overall; double some other nights in demos.  Up nicely in men and HH from July.  TABOO was a big part of it here, too, with the premiere delivering the best of the month.   ZERO HOUR UPDATE built the best for the night, with healthy increases over the WAR ON AMERICA UPDATE lead-in.

LATEST ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.

LATEST PROGRAM RENEWALS:

TABOO 13 x 60  Produced by Beyond Productions; DOG WHISPERER, EXPLORER, FIGHT SCIENCE, NAKED SCIENCE, ULTIMATE FACTORIES

LATEST PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

BE THE CREATURE, DEADLY DOZEN, LIVING WILD, MOST EXTREME JOBS, , TOTALLY WILD, ULTIMATE DISASTER, UNDERCOVER HISTORY, HUNTER AND HUNTED, PLANET CARNIVORE, MEGA MOVERS; MEGA STRUCTURES, DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS;  INSIDE"¦.

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