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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.  Mondays in February was LAYOVER and HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE night, and, following the finale of LAYOVER, became BIZARRE FOODS AMERICAN and HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE night. Tuesdays saw a rotating slate of originals and specials.  More originals on Wednesday with BAGGAGE BATTLES and STREET EATS.  Thursdays in February featured stacked episodes of MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM.  Fridays and Saturdays were paranormal-themed, with a lineup of GHOST ADVENTURES and DEAD FILES, while Sundays closed out the week with a variety of programming.

FEBRUARY 2013 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-6%

-5%

9%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-11%

7%

6%

Wednesday 8-11pm

4%

-13%

0%

Thursday 8-11pm

56%

36%

38%

Friday 8-11pm

21%

14%

13%

Saturday 8-11pm

-4%

-6%

-5%

Sunday 8-11pm

-19%

-17%

-18%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

7%

6%

5%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

With the recent announcement of the renewals of several of Travel Channel's original series (AIRPORT 24/7: MIAMI, BAGGAGE BATTLES, BIZARRE FOODS AMERICA, DANGEROUS GROUNDS, THE DEAD FILES, GHOST ADVENTURES, HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE, and MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM), the network is making it clear that they believe strongly in their original series and current direction.  February's numbers were strong overall, though some nights of the week did see year-to-year losses, and every night except Monday was down in overall HH viewers from January.

February saw the end of Anthony Bourdain's run on the network, with the finale of series LAYOVER on Monday, 2/4/13.  Though Mondays were down in HH viewers compared to last year, LAYOVER scored above average in its finale.  BIZARRE FOODS, which took its spot in the lineup following the finale, scored solidly as well, making a smooth transition into the Monday night lineup, paired with HOTEL IMPOSSIBLE.

February also saw the premiere of one new, well-marketed series: ARMED AND READY, on 2/26, and a full analysis of that program will be available in March's CableU report.

For another month, Thursdays were the strongest of the week for Travel Channel.  The night was up 56% compared to February 2012 as stacked episodes of MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM (which transferred from Tuesdays to Thursdays in 2012, replacing a lineup of BIZARRE FOODS, NO RESERVATIONS, and MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM.)  Nearly every airing of the series scored average or above. The series overall is up 31% compared to its performance in February 2012.  This is one franchise that isn't showing any signs of slowing.

Friday's strong year-to-year growth was fueled by the paranormal-themed GHOST ADVENTURES and DEAD FILES. GHOST ADVENTURES and DEAD FILES both scored well above average.  However, Saturday's lineup of recycled GHOST ADVENTURES is starting to lose steam, and the night was down from both last month and last year.

Sundays in February also took a hit, with overall viewers down 19% compared to last year.  There were solid performances by RV 2013 and STURGIS - two topics that always seem to rate well on Travel.

With a renewed commitment to original series, and several new shows slated to debut in the coming months, Travel is strongly attempting to win back their audience - no easy feat, given the competition for character-driven entertainment programming in the cable landscape.  Look for more originals to come in the remainder of 2013.

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