History Channel Strategic Opportunities - September 2009



Series are the name of the game.  While the network has had many years of steady growth, they had been searching for a breakout franchise that could stand above everything else.  ICE ROAD TRUCKERS brought just that a couple years ago.  Now, PAWN STARS takes on the same label, but in a format that can go year round.  Hosted series remain a big focus of the network.  Someone who can stand out from the crowd and still maintain the credibility needed for a channel devoted to history.   Until recently, formats have been the domain of sister network A&E.  History have been more active in formats.  

Take what is "old" and make it "new" again. This is what keeps History hot with its core audience of males 25-54 Take a current technology or modern day event and link to its origins. Shows on technology are always a draw for History's viewers. Uniting modern science with its origins is what makes up just about all of their tech-based shows.  Witness THE UNIVERSE as Exhibit A. 

History attracts a strong male audience that is otherwise tough to capture by a non-sports network. Male hosts and male experts have obvious appeal to History's viewers and male viewers in general. This also says something about the subject matter and type of content that appeals to this viewer: viewers are already familiar with the general topics covered in the programs, yet are given new information in an entertaining format.

Specials are taking a larger role on the channel.  The occasional Sunday or Monday opens up for two hour single topic special programs.   Saturdays have been dominated by repeats of the same specials, freeing up resources for regular series elsewhere. 


Series and specials with a fresh, modern take on historical topics already familiar to a mass audience. Personalities aren't required but can provide the unique spin needed.  Drama docs are of great interest.  Recent entries in the category include MANSON and MOONSHOT. 


None at present.


Despite rumors to the contrary, "traditional" history remains at the heart of the channel.  Ancient times, military topics, archive based, they're all there.  The difference now is that they balance the network, but don't dominate it.  Shape your program pitches accordingly.


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