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Travel Channel Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

Travel Channel Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

The schedule is built around a handful of key series at 9pm or 10pm, complemented by repeats of the same on the same night.  Monday is BIZARRE FOODS night.  Tuesdays is museum and travel night, with MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM, HIDDEN CITY, and OFF LIMITS. Wednesday is food night, with  MAN VS FOOD and AMAZING EATS and, while Thursday is a lineup of Travel Channel heavy hitters - WHEN VACATIONS ATTCK BIZARRE FOODS, and NO RESERVATIONS.  Fridays and Saturdays are both supernatural nights, with GHOST ADVENTURES and DEAD FILES.  Sundays are a mix of reruns and stacked episodes.  Thematic stacks and diverse topics, premieres and repeats, are all mixed throughout the one up portion of the schedule.

FRBRUARY 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / February 2012 vs February 2011  (% Change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

19%

25%

22%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-16%

-38%

-32%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-21%

-17%

-25%

Thursday 8-11pm

8%

-7%

-6%

Friday 8-11pm

-26%

-37%

-21%

Saturday 8-11pm

0%

6%

6%

Sunday 8-11pm

15%

13%

17%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-7%

-16%

-5%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

After a somewhat rough January, February was a little rocky for Travel Channel as well.  Numbers are down 7% overall compared to February 2011, though many of the nights saw positive year-to-year growth.  On a more positive note for the network, numbers were up from January 2012 - the network saw a gain of 12% in HH viewers, and was up across almost every key demo.  To see how Travel Channel's yearly and monthly changed stacked up to the other networks in the CableU Top 30, click here: http://www.cableu.tv/?p=32264)

The night that saw the most growth compared to last year (up 19%) is also the strongest of the week for Travel - Mondays.  This month, BIZARRE FOODS and BIZARRE FOODS AMERICA took over for a heavy Anthony Bourdain lineup (NO RESERVATIONS and LAYOVER.)  And numbers were up overall.  BIZARRE FOODS has fallen from a year ago (down 23%) but BIZARRE FOOD AMERICA consistently delivers above-average number for the network.  The night is also skewing younger than it was both last month and last year.

Tuesday nights saw moderate month-to-month grown but was down from last year.  The night is skewing 17% older than it was a year ago.  MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM consistently delivered above-average numbers throughout February, though HIDDEN CITY and OFF LIMITS in the 9pm and 10pm slots less so.

Wednesday night remains food night on Travel.  While the night delivers below-average numbers it skews as one of the younger nights of the week with MAN VS. FOOD and AMAZING EATS, among others.  Still, the night was down significantly compared to last month and last year and MAN VS. FOOD has fallen 14%.  Travel Channel will likely be looking to fill this hole in the food space in the coming year.

Thursday nights, despite delivering below-average numbers, was up 8% compared to last year.  A marathon of EXTREME RVs delivered solid numbers on 2/9 - a genre that always seems to work for Travel, no matter when it's scheduled.

Fridays and Saturdays are both paranormal-themed, which resonates quite well with the Travel Channel audience (numbers are better on Friday night than on Saturday.)  However, Friday nights were down significantly from a year ago (most likely due to lack of new GHOST ADVENTURES this month)  Look for more premieres in March 2012.

Sundays delivered above average numbers, and was up compared to both last month and last year (30% and 15%, respectively.)  Scoring extremely well were both STURGIS and MUD PEOPLE, which popped up 2/19.  Look for more in the coming months.

Travel Channel has cast a wide net in its programming choices.  Successful shows run the gamut of audiences, and they have a wide spread of average ages throughout the week.  Connections to “travel” in their programming has become looser and looser, so bring them whatever, and let them connect the dots.  Bring them big talent, and don’t forget to have fun – it’s a big theme across all of their programming.

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