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 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 - 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.
MARCH 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / March 2012 vs March 2011 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
March continues the trend of rocky numbers for Travel Channel in 2012. Numbers were down across the board this month, though both Tuesdays and Fridays saw improvement over February. Returning staples, like NO RESERVATIONS, BIZARRE FOODS, MAN VS. FOOD, and GHOST ADVENTURES are all showing signs of decline compared to year-ago numbers. Travel Channel's recently unveiled slate of new originals is going to be a welcome addition to the schedule over the next several months.
Monday nights remains one of the strongest nights of the week for the network, with a lineup of BIZARRE FOODS and NO RESERVATIONS. As noted above, these shows are both down from last year (26% and 31%, respectively) but still draw in average t0 above-average numbers.
Despite the powerhouse MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM bringing in big numbers, Tuesdays were down 22% compared to last year. Lead-out OFF LIMITS couldn't hold the audience.
Wednesdays' food-heavy lineup delivered average to below-average numbers in March. MAN VS. FOOD is clearly showing its age - the show was down 14% in overall viewers, and took hits across all key demographics. Pilot SLICE OF BROOKLYN, which aired on March 7, couldn't hit average. Too much competition in the food space could be to blame.
More food was on the agenda for Thursday nights, which featured a lineup of BIZARRE FOODS and NO RESERVATIONS. Numbers hovered from average to below average and the night was one of the weakest of the week for Travel Channel.
Fridays and Saturdays remain all about the paranormal, which continues to find success on the network. Friday's lineup of GHOST ADVENTURES and DEAD FILES is the strongest of the week while Saturday's stacked GHOST ADVENTURES pulls in the youngest audience despite below-average ratings.
Sundays feature a mix of specials on Travel - top performing was an airing of MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM that found its way into the mix.
Overall, a tough month for the network. Hopefully things will improve quickly as they roll out their new slate of programs, several of which are slated to start in April.