History Goes Multiplatform

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The History Channel will take a leap into the future this summer with the launch of a video-rich Web site (www.historyonline.com), part of the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers, which also included a number of new primetime series and specials.

The new version of the network’s site will feature more than 2,000 video clips and speeches, including behind-the scenes footage of such History shows as True Caribbean Pirates and Desperate Crossing. History will also provide content created exclusively for the site, History Channel USA president Dan Davids said.

And the site will feature interactive timelines that give users a rich, broadband-centric insight into different historical themes, as well as online games, e-cards and podcasts.

In addition, History.com will develop new broadband channels based around historical topics, such as “Science & Technology” and “Exploration,” and it will revamp its hugely popular This Day in History (www.historychannel.com/tdih/tdih.jsp?category=leadstory) site.

History plans to place advertising within its video broadband content, although the network would not reveal specifics on how such ads would be placed on the site. Davids did say he hopes to attract a younger audience to the network through the Web site.

The network will also launch a number of new series and specials later this year that it hopes will continue its ratings momentum. During the first quarter of 2006, History’s ratings were up among adults 25-54 (8%), adults 18-49 (6%), men 25-54 (8%) and men 18-49 (5%) compared with the same period last year. The network’s primetime household rating for the quarter was down 9% to a 1.0 from a 1.1 in 2005.

New shows include Lost Worlds, which will explore and rebuild ancient lost cities such as Pompeii and the Egyptian empire using state-of-the-art animation; Engineering an Empire, which will examine the world’s most advanced civilizations from the perspective of their engineering feats; Dogfights, which re-creates famous battles from history; and Ancient Discoveries, which will allow viewers to travel back in time to discover the amazing ancient roots of technologies considered today as modern.

Those series will join previously announced new skeins Mega Movers, Mega Disasters, The Revolution, American Eats and Where Did It Come from?.

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