Travel Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - September 2009

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Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of September 21, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:

ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS (NON-FICTION)
The Indiana Jones of the food world, this chef/author/restauranteur/adventurer tours the world in search of gastronomic delights and quests.
Status: Currently airing.


BEST PLACES TO FIND CASH AND TREASURE
(NON-FICTION)
Like emeralds, diamonds, artifacts, other valuable items and, well, treasures!
Status: On Hiatus

BIZARRE FOODS WITH ANDREW ZIMMERN (NON-FICTION)
Utilizing his knowledge of all things edible, Andrew Zimmern is on a quest to find the world's most bizarre foods.
Status: Currently airing.  Produced by Tremendous Entertainment.

BRIDGET'S SEXIEST BEACHES (NON-FICTION)
Hosted by Bridget Marquardt (THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR) as she travels the world's top beach locations.
Status: On hiatus.  Produced by Prometheus Entertainment.

DHANI TACKLES THE GLOBE (NON-FICTION)
NFL linebacker, Dhani Jones travels to different countries and immerses himself into the culture's specific sport.
Status: On hiatus.   Produced by Red Line Films.

GHOST ADVENTURES (NON-FICTION)
Paranormal investigator, Zak Bagans and his crew, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin search for haunted locations both domestically and internationally.
Status: Season 2 premiered in June,2009. Produced by My Entertainment TV.

LIVING WITH THE KOMBAI TRIBE (NON-FICTION)
Mark and Olly are the guys who trek to remote corners of the world to learn about unique tribes and their culture.
Status: On hiatus

MAN VS. FOOD (NON-FICTION)
Adam Richman sets out to travel the country in search of the best places to do some serious indulging.
Status: Season 2 premiered in August.  Produced by Sharp Entertainment

MOST HAUNTED (NON-FICTION)
One of the few acquisitions, inside haunted European locations and attempts to communicate with the dead.
Status: Currently airing.

PASSPORT WITH SAMANTHA BROWN (NON-FICTION)
One of the network's stars, Sam takes us to Europe this month.
Status: Currently airing.

AUGUST 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:
MAN VS. FOOD. ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS, EXTREME WATERPARKS, DAVID BLAINE


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 features ANTHONY BOURDAIN, Tuesday is ANDREW ZIMMERN BIZARRE FOODS, and Friday is GHOST ADVENTURES.  The remaining nights feature an occasional series such as MAN VS FOOD or SAMANTHA BROWN, but the overwhelming majority of the timeslots are filled with single hour programs.  Thematic stacks and diverse topics, premieres and repeats, they're all mixed throughout the one up portion of the schedule.  It remains one of the few non-fiction based network schedules with a large number of one up programs in basic cable.   


UPCOMING PREMIERES:

** September 1 - ANDREW ZIMMERN'S BIZARRE WORLD

AUGUST 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:
August 2009 vs. August 2008 (% change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-5%

-9%

-8%

Tuesday 8-11pm

0%

-11%

-15%

Wednesday 8-11pm

46%

87%

75%

Thursday 8-11pm

22%

38%

40%

Friday 8-11pm

67%

122%

92%

Saturday 8-11pm

15%

100%

73%

Sunday 8-11pm

39%

69%

60%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

26%

43%

38%

What a month!  Bouncing back from last year's Olympics driven August, the network shows phenomenal increases versus 12 months ago.  Two year trends look just as good.  Setting aside the percentage increases for the moment, these were the highest ratings and delivery we've seen since we've been tracking the net 2.5 years ago.  August makes 12 consecutive months, that's right an entire year, of annual increases.  And, as if that wasn't enough good news, the median age has come back down from July.  August was the the youngest month we've tracked ever.  Driving all of this good news has been a single series, MAN VS FOOD.  More on that below.

The second season of MAN VS FOOD kicked off on August 5th and never looked back.  The opening episode was the top rated program on the network for the month.  A repeat ep leading out of it was number two on that list.  Every one of the four premieres in August was in the Top 5.  Wednesday nights were up 75-100% over last year in all key demos, total viewers were up almost 50%, and median age was down 20% for the night.  No surprise that Wednesday was the highest rated night on the schedule in August.

MAN VS FOOD didn't slow down with repeats.  The top 16 telecasts for the month were MAN VS FOOD, as were 18 of the 20.  Repeats on Wednesdays were solid as noted above.  Friday 8pm featured repeats.  Demo ratings for the night doubled over last year.  Saturday has a single airing filling in at 10:30.  Saturdays were up almost triple digits over last year.  The first Sunday fo the month had full night of repeats as a promotional platform for the second season debut.  Ratings were awesome.  Drove Sundays numbers up 60-70% over last year. 

Everywhere we turned, there was MAN VS FOOD.  So far, it's working.  However, we hope the usage drops down a notich in the coming weeks.  Even the best series can become overexposed very fast. 

ANTHONY BOURDAIN ran a month full of premieres with great success.  Two episodes occupied the only spots in the network's top 20 that weren't MAN VS FOOD.  All four premieres overdelivered the network averages for the month.  On the other hand, all but one repeat topped those same averages.  Keep the premieres coming!

BITE ME, WITH DR MIKE had one decent episode to start the month and then faded fast.  Demo numbers were all over the place.  Tuesday suffered.  Not looking for a renewal on this one.

GHOST ADVENTURES is one of those series we really like.  Unfortunately, the all repeat month lost 10% in A18-49 and a whopping 25% for A25-54 relative to July.  While the overall numbers are below average, the gap isn't so large that it can't be closed with a few new episodes and a stronger lead-in. 

SAMANTHA BROWN's raw numbers weren't so great, underperforming the network averages.  Nevertheless, the series turned in a very nice August relative to its past performances.  Audiences jumped from July, and A25-54 numbers were up 40% from last year.  Two premieres over the four weeks with no drop off on the repeats.  Well done!

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

DHANI TACKLES THE GLOBE, SAMANTHA BROWN'S GREAT WEEKENDS, ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS, BEST PLACES TO FIND CASH AND TREASURES, MOST HAUNTED


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None this month.

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