History Channel Analysis - September 2011

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SEPTEMBER 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Programming blocks and consistent scheduling seem to be History’s mantra in September.  Not too wide a programming mix, the primetime schedule is home to the solid favorites, giving viewers several opportunities to find their programs and develop a pattern of appointment viewing.  Thematic evenings take over on the weekend.  Network tends to run two hour event docs on Saturday.  Sundays have become the home for the umbrella theme "American Originals", including ICE ROAD TRUCKERS and AX MEN.  Specials can be inserted on Sunday evenings without breaking the flow of the regular schedule.

SEPTEMBER 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / September 2011 vs. September 2010 (% Change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-6%

-15%

-15%

Tuesday 8-11pm

6%

17%

5%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-10%

-18%

-20%

Thursday 8-11pm

11%

-8%

7%

Friday 8-11pm

44%

30%

45%

Saturday 8-11pm

-36%

-41%

-38%

Sunday 8-11pm

-19%

-12%

-15%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-4%

-8%

-9%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

After a record-breaking August for the network, numbers were bound to slip a little as network programming returned for the fall.  But with yearly numbers down as well, History is undoubtedly going to be looking for the next big hits.

PAWN STARS and AMERICAN PICKERS continue to dominate the top telecasts for the month.  It’s clear History struck gold with this genre, though numbers for both shows are down across all key demos from last year.  It might be time for a new iteration of the genre to appease the hungry viewers.  Still, even with the loss this month, Monday night is by far the strongest of the week, nearly doubling the average for History’s primetime.

TOP SHOT remained the Tuesday night staple at 10pm.  Numbers were up for the series from last month and male demos continue to score above average.

ICE ROAD TRUCKERS struggled a little this month, with only one broadcast in prime hitting above-average numbers.

ANCIENT ALIENS remained on Thursday nights, but the night is among the weakest for the network.  AMERICAN RESTORATION on Fridays scored some solid numbers, but overall, is down from last month.

Top telecast for the month goes to TIME MACHINE, History’s block for specials – 102 MINUTES THAT CHANGED AMERICA on 9/11.  History seems synonymous with “America” these days, and it’s clear viewers see History as an authority on the subject.

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