Science Channel Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Stacked episodes and theme nights are the focus of the Science Channel primetime schedule in 2013. The schedule is anchored by several off-network acquisitions, and titles shared with sister network Discovery, paired with Science Channel original series.  While HOW IT'S MADE remains the heaviest rotated show in the primetime lineup, there has been less reliance on the series as more originals debut.

FEBRUARY 2013 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live + SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / February 2013 vs. February 2012 (% Change)

HH

M18-49

M25-54

Monday 8-11pm

18%

15%

0%

Tuesday 8-11pm

60%

0%

38%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-35%

0%

-33%

Thursday 8-11pm

41%

0%

-6%

Friday 8-11pm

6%

-13%

30%

Saturday 8-11pm

-10%

-28%

-18%

Sunday 8-11pm

0%

33%

23%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

11%

0%

7%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

What used to be a network that relied nearly primarily on re-airings of HOW IT'S MADE has developed into a network with a full slate of original series in various genres and high-profile specials, and off network acquisitions. This paid off well for the network in 2012, and as 2013 continues on, there is a clear upward trend in overall viewers, as well as in the key male demographics. Most nights of the week experienced year-to-year growth in HH ratings.

Staple of the primetime schedule, HOW IT'S MADE continues to pull in viewers, and the show was up 25% compared to last year but flat among the male demos - Science is, whether intentional or not - starting to attract some additional female eyes.  The premiere of ODD FOLKS HOME, on Saturday 2/9, which lead out of ODDITIES, performed well in HH viewers, and also scored well in its premiere among the older female demos.  Still, the night was down significantly compared to last year, in both overall HH demos and the male demos as well.

The other premiere during February was STRIP THE CITY, a CGI-heavy look at the inner workings of a city's infrastructure.  The show performed above average in its premiere, and despite a loss of viewers over the course of the month, drove Tuesday nights up 60% compared to February 2012.  STRIP THE CITY outperformed lead-in BUILD IT BIGGER.

Thursday nights were also up significantly in overall viewers compared to last year, though struggled in the male demos.  A lineup of HOW IT'S MADE, paired with both HOW DO THEY DO IT and more STRIP THE CITY continues to pull in eyes, but the night is also the oldest-skewing of the week.

What's working best these days on Science is... well, Science.  The Monday night lineup has this formula down pat, and the night is the strongest of the week for the network.  With numbers up in both overall viewers and younger male demos, and solid increased from January, Monday night features the best of the best on the network - from impressive specials to stacked episodes of Science staple HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS.  A strong performance by a special, FIRE IN THE SKY: DAILY PLANET INVESTIGATES, about the meteor in Russia, rounds out the month.

In 2013, look for more male-skewing character-driven shows, as well as more comedy (provided the performance of STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW doesn't scare the network execs away from this.)  March, according to Science Channel press, is going to be devoted to the search for alien life with new upcoming titles like ARE WE ALONE and ALIENS: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE.  As these topics are usually ratings draws, we expect big numbers to come for the quirky, offbeat network.

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