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National Geographic Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - January 2008 - Broadcasting & Cable

National Geographic Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - January 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of February 25, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 25-54 .  Net got a lot younger this month, and came in with a Median Age below 45.

JANUARY 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

Most of the National Geographic Channel's lineup is one-offs, under various Strand names.  But CableU tracks everything, giving you a read of the telecasts, and therefore subjects, that worked best.

DOG WHISPERER was the top series, but, less so than usual, had only two telecasts in the Top 10 (#7, 8).  Other series that topped the prime average:  NAKED SCIENCE; INSIDE; 27 telecasts of NG PRESENTS (we''ll tell you which worked best, below); NGC FRIDAY.

The rest of the Top 10 telecasts, in order:  2 NAT GEO PRESENTS (LOCKDOWN: CAT AND MOUSE and LOCKDOWN: FIRST TIMERS) 2 INSIDEs (OUTLAW BIKERS; HELLS ANGELS; LOCKDOWN: GANG WAR); 2 more PRESENTS (BOUNTY HUNTERS: ON THE RUN; ALASKA: DENALI NATIONAL PARK), with 2 more PRESENTS at #9, 10:  UFOS: SEEING IS BELIEVING; SAN QUENTIN UNLOCKED.

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

At the core of the Society's mission:  "to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet."  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).   But unlike Discovery, their  daytime isn't repeating in prime ad infinitum.

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."   Many nights, as we indicated above, different Strands have the same subject  Other than Friday's primarily DOG WHISPERER night and Saturday's more or less wildlife sked, every night's strategy is up for grabs.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

DECEMBER - JANUARY:

The usual "ËœVARIOUS" in for some things, a PRESENTS here and there.  TABOO is in Wednesday at 10pm; SCI TECH in Thursday at 9pm and DOGTOWN in  Friday at 9pm.

AND BEYOND:

Again, a lot of Strands and one-offs dominate the schedule (not that there's anything wrong with that).  Among the titles upcoming on various nights:  FINAL REPORT: TWA FLIGHT 800; AIR EMERGENCY; I CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD; SHANGHAI SUPERTOWER; DEEP SEA DRILLERS;  PRISON NATION; GALAPAGOS; SIX DEGREES COULD CHANGE THE WORLD (a pretty major event, Feb 10); ANCIENT ASTEROID; TUT'S TREASURES; CONQUERING NIAGARA; MOONSHINE; FISHZILLA; INSIDE PAKISTAN; FINAL REPORT: OSAMA'S ESCAPE; INCREDIBLE ISLANDS: DUBAI; IMPSSIBLE HOTEL; INSIDE THE VIETNAM WAR; INSIDE 9/11: ZERO HOUR; SCIENCE OF STEROIDS; EXTREME GENES; CONSPIRACY MOON LANDING; DEATH BY GRAGON; A MAN AMONG WOLVES; DINO DEATH TRAP; DINO AUTOPSY; BIKES AND MOBSTERS; MIAMI DRUG CARTEL; PHILLY MOB; TRIPLE CROSS: BIN LADEN'S SPY IN AMERICA; SECRET HISTORY OF THE BRA; SWEET TOOTH.  (ANALYST NOTE:  PRODUCERS - HERE IS A GREAT LIST FROM WHICH TO BEGIN YOUR BRAINSTORMING FOR NAT GEO PROPOSALS.)

IS IT REAL and DOGTOWN  are at 9pm Friday quite a bit, giving DOG WHISPERER a little break on the night.  Various NAKED SCIENCE, SCI-TECH, IS IT REAL, ULTIMATE FACTORIES, TABOO, CRITICAL SITUATION episodes (they are all series) scattered here and there.

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

A dip in HH and young women (- 20%, - 25%), but a rise in the men 25-54 ( + 20%).  Net got younger, too, some nights, substantially so ( Wednesday and Sunday).  Most nights had some good news, usually a demo increase.  Only Sunday was down nearly-across the board, but as we said, got much younger in the process.

Of the series on the sked January '07 versus January '08, NG PRESENTS was up, so was DOG WHISPERER, NAKED SCIENCE and EXPLORER.  Not so WHAT HAPPENED and WILD. 

JANUARY 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS

No "writers' strike bump" here either.  Net was down 20% in HH from December, - 17% in young men.  Everywhere else, flat.  Nat Geo did get 9% younger, with Wednesday and Sunday here, too, exhibiting the best "younging-up'.

Monday - Down in HH 20%, but it got a trifle younger, while the demos were flat, share-wise.  New Year's Eve, while a Stunt, is a tough night to get a number, and it was the low Monday for Nat Geo.  Good nights for UNABOMBER/SAN QUENTIN/BOUNTY HUNTERS (that show always works"¦and full disclosure, sister company CABLEready represents it worldwide) and PIRATE CODE/BOUNTY HUNTERS: MANHUNT.

Tuesday - Got younger, but lost a lot in the share category across the board.  New Year's Day didn't hurt here:  it was the highest Tuesday of the month, with a night of HOOKED!  UFOS: SEEING IS BELIEVING - nice job the last week, 9-11pm.  TSUNAMI; VOICES OF 9/11; THUNDERBEAST; SECRET YELLOWSTONE; REAL ROSWELL were below the  night's average.

Wednesday - One of the nights that got a lot younger (-12%), in part because 25-54 shares dropped.  TABOO had a couple good weeks, a couple not as strong, but it always built on the lead-in.  Big performers (almost twice the night's average) were LOCKDOWN: GANG WAR and OUTLAW BIKERS.  FIGHT CLUB and MAN AMONG WOLVES underperformed by 50%.

Thursday - Down in HH and young audience; flat with 25-54s.  Oldest night of the week as a result.  BEST OF SPORTS SCIENCE seemed to be a low spot, though its lead out, SPORTS SCIENCE: SUDDEN IMPACT built on it.  ALASKA night helped:  BUILDING THE WILD/DENALI NAT PARK (this one especially so) and RING OF FIRE delivered the best Thursday of the month.

Friday - Great growth"¦best night for increases all month.  DOG WHISPERER is back with a  vengeance, nearly double the prime average.  DOGTOWN premiered and did OK"¦not as strong as WHISPERER in the time period, but still solid.  The oddly scheduled LOCKDOWN one night at 10pm, not surprisingly, did not hold the WHISPERER lead-in.

Saturday - Always a tough night for any network, and it's Nat Geo's lowest of the week.  But it fell from a year ago:  lost men and 25-54 women"¦HH and persons by -25%.  SURVIVING EVEREST hurt (as id did for Discovery more than once), so did DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS: NORTH AMERICA'S DEADLY DOZEN.  Everything else was at or above average, especially  D.E.: DRAGON HUNT (so it's not the series, just deadly American snakes, perhaps).  TABOO one Saturday at 10pm did pretty well, at the tail end of D.E. DEADLY DOZEN AFRICA and ULTIMATE CROCODILE.

Sunday - Got younger by 26%, making it the youngest night of the week.  All demos except m 25-54 were up and the highest for the week"¦.67% growth for young women!  So  why did the HH drop 29% in share?  Outstanding and top ranked performances from LOCKDOWN: FIRST TIMERS;  BOUNTY HUNTERS:  CAT AND MOUSE (notably, this one): 2 eps of FIGHT SCIENCE;  LOCKDOWN:  WOMEN BEHIND BARS and SCIENCE OF OBESITY.  Not so notable:  SNAKEBITE"¦only 20% of the CAT AND MOUSE HH share.  So maybe it is the snakes?

ADDITIONAL RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Nat Geo announced early January that 2007 prime numbers were the network's highest since its 2001 launch.  HH were up 7%, persons 25-54, +9% and men 25-54, +7% also.

LATEST ACQUISITIONS:

MUMMY WHO CAME FROM THE COLD; WILD WEST UNCOVERED (See IN DEVELOPMENT)

LATEST PROGRAM RENEWALS:

TABOO; DOG WHISPERER, EXPLORER, FIGHT SCIENCE, NAKED SCIENCE, ULTIMATE FACTORIES

LATEST PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

BE THE CREATURE, LIVING WILD, MOST EXTREME JOBS, TOTALLY WILD, ULTIMATE DISASTER, UNDERCOVER HISTORY, HUNTER AND HUNTED, PLANET CARNIVORE, MEGA MOVERS; MEGA STRUCTURES,  INCREDIBLE HUMAN MACHINE; THRILL ZONE; TRIBAL SECRETS

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