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 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.

APRIL 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live + SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / April 2012 vs April 2011  (% Change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-24%

-18%

-30%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-18%

-33%

-33%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-35%

-26%

-29%

Thursday 8-11pm

-17%

-11%

-13%

Friday 8-11pm

-7%

-24%

-4%

Saturday 8-11pm

-26%

0%

-5%

Sunday 8-11pm

-4%

-5%

0%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-19%

-21%

-14%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

April proved to be yet another tough month for Travel Channel in 2012.  Numbers were down across the board compared to last year. 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.

April saw the premieres of three new high-profile Travel Channel series: HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE, BAGGAGE BATTLES, and PARK SECRETS.  Only BAGGAGE BATTLES, which premiered on Wednesday, April 11, managed to break into the top 10 programs for the month.

Monday nights, which had traditionally been one of the strongest for Travel Channel was just about average during the month of April.  NO RESERVATIONS led into newcomer HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE, which premiered on Monday April 9.  Hitting just about average numbers, the show was not able to maintain NO RESERVATION's lead-in numbers.

Despite the powerhouse MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM bringing in big numbers, Tuesdays were down 18% compared to last year.  Lead-out OFF LIMITS at 10pm couldn't hold the audience.

Wednesday's food-heavy lineup saw the most significant losses compared to last year - down 35% in overall viewers.  Despite the heavy rotation of Travel Channel favorite MAN VS. FOOD in the 9pm slot, BAGGAGE BATTLES at 10pm just managed to hit around average numbers.  PARK SECRETS, which debuted on 4/18 at 8pm, failed to hit average.

Thursdays featured more originals - TRUCK STOP USA, SAND MASTERS, and HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE.  Unfortunately, numbers were still down from a year ago, falling 17% in overall viewers.  Throughout the month, the only program to hit average was EXTREME FAST FOOD.

Fridays are the strongest night of the week for Travel, by a fairly significant margin.  The night saw moderate losses (down 7% in overall viewers), but there were some gains among the key female demographics in year-to-year numbers.  GHOST ADVENTURES and DEAD FILES, established paranormal programs, clearly continue to resonate with the Travel audience.  Despite Travel's reluctance to continue with more originals in the paranormal space, the genre is clearly working for the network - in some cases, doubling average.

Saturdays saw significant losses compared to year-ago numbers, down 26% in overall viewers, though this was offset by moderate gains in younger male demos.  The night skews the youngest of the week by far for Travel Channel.  More GHOST ADVENTURES continues to beat average numbers, though the show is down 19% overall from last year.

Sundays feature a mix of series and specials on Travel - KILLER RV UPGRADES and EXTREME HOMES topped the ratings list.

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