National Geographic Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - Jan. 2007

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of February 22, 2007)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 25-54

JANUARY 2007 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

STRONGEST NIGHT OF PROGRAMMING:

It's Sunday again, this time a little more noticeably, and it's up in HH and men this month, not to mention getting younger in the process.

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

Talk to Nat Geo and they'll tell you that they're looking for series and this chart bears it out: of National Geographic's Top Ten this month, NAT GEO PRESENTS, a strand of unrelated one-offs aired another 59 times again in prime in January and WILD, another strand, had 20 plays. More series broke into the Top Ten this month: DOG WHISPERER at #1, IS IT REAL (3), WHAT HAPPENED (5), MEGASTRUCTURES (6), SECONDS FROM DISASTER (7), and MAN MADE (9).

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

As with last month and, for that matter, the month before that, a lot of futzing with the schedule. Hardly any night resembled the previous week, other than perhaps Friday night, which remained DOG WHISPERER/WILD territory. The other nights were rarely as listed on our schedule; we could have written "Various" in there a lot more; each week had some different program from the last. Hard to find a consistent scheduling theme throughout.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

On the other hand, a schedule with so many strands gives Nat Geo great flexibility in scheduling various specials and one-offs, which they do, as well as repackaging their vast library. That's a blessing (flexibility) and a curse (lack of continuity) and hurts when trying to lock in viewer loyalty. You can bring "Ëœem in for the bigger titles (9/11, IN THE WOMB), but it's the series that keep "Ëœem comin' in every day.

Major change is that DOG WHISPERER is off of Monday night, now that football is over and Nat Geo wanted to give women something to watch (to see the effect on Monday, see below). NAT GEO PRESENTS plugged the hole, and in fact, now pretty much fills the night.
WHAT HAPPENED moved to Tuesday at 10pm, while NAKED SCIENCE took its place on Wednesday at 10pm. Elsewhere, most of the changes are one-offs or NAT GEO PRESENTS in for a week or two, as opposed to anything that looks permanent.

Into February, programs and strands worth noting include:

ULTIMATE stunt on 1/29 (EARTHQUAKE,TSUNAMI, TORNADO); SECRETS stunt on 2/4 (FREEMASONS, NOAH'S ARK, REVELATION); PRISONS 2/5 (SANQUENTIN, LOCKDOWN, ALCATRAZ). NAKED SCIENCE gets a vertical stunt, Friday 2/9. More LOCKDOWNs, a night of "Ëœem, 2/11. CRASH SCIENCE comes back a few times in February (2/1, 2/6, 2/17); so does HUNTER AND HUNTED (2/19, 2/20 and a stunt on 3/3); PLANET CARNIVORE is a blue chip biggie 2/18 and 2/24. GALAPAGOS is the next blue chip, March 18 at 8pm.

JANUARY 2007 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Households grew significantly this month (25%) lead by a 1/3 increase in women overall. 2 nights showed HH increases (Friday and Sunday), while only one night fell (Tuesday), and overall, the network got slightly younger.

Monday - Even with DOG WHISPERER out of there, the night grew in women. Repeat of IN THE WOMB boosted it; New Years Day stunt of ASTONISHING/ASTOUNDING/DARING moments helped.

Tuesday - The night that dipped, and it did so across the board, HH and demos. Best night was GUNS: MACHINES OF WAR; HITLER UNCOVERED; HUNT FOR HITLER (latter under the WHAT HAPPENED? strand). Underperforming one-off themes were TORNADOS, TSUNAMI, a DOG WHISPERER special, and surprisingly, some alien programs, UFOS/REAL ROSWELL/ALIEN CONTACT.

Wednesday - Flat night, except for a loss in women, but another good number for HITLER, this time HITLER UNCOVERED, lead-into by a timely INSIDE SADAM'S REIGN OF TERROR repeat. Most notable was a BEHIND THE MYSTERY special, CONSPIRACY MOON LANDING, which doubled its similar lead-in, LIFE ON MARS.

Thursday - Younger women were up; older women and young men were down. IN THE WOMB: MULTIPLES and AMAZING ENCOUNTERS (1/18) seemed to be the night that made the difference. Good HH performance from one-offs IS IT REAL/ATLANTIS; MEGASTRUCTURES/DEEP SEA DRILLERS; BEHIND THE MYSTERIES/BERMUDA TRIANGLE.

Friday - The #2 night, the youngest night, the best night for women and darned near the best night for men, too. DOG WHISPERER makes it so. WILD did, too..on the two weeks that Nat Geo slipped DOG WHISPERERs in there, though COUGAR ISLAND did stand out one week at 10pm.

Saturday - Standouts in the SUPER SATURDAY strand (above that night's average) were: SUPER SNAKE; IN THE WOMB: MULTIPLES; and a couple DOG WHISPERERs.

Sunday - Big number for the premiere of IN THE WOMB: MULTIPLES, Nat Geo's highest rating/share and female delivery in January (1/14). DEADLY DOZEN one-offs also performed on 1/7 (AFRICA/INDIA and NORTH AMERICA ) in a 3-hour stunt. The ULTIMATE FACTORY stunt, another January event, built throughout the night (1/28), above average in HH, with men outdelivering women 3-to-1.

LATEST ACQUISITIONS:

None announced.

LATEST PROGRAM RENEWALS:

TABOO: 13 x 60. Produced by Beyond Productions.

LATEST PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announed.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

BE THE CREATURE, LIVING WILD, MOST EXTREME JOBS, TABOO, TOTALLY WILD, ULTIMATE DISASTER, UNDERCOVER HISTORY

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