National Geographic Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - April 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of May 25, 2009)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 25-54.

APRIL 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

HARD TIME, DOG WHISPERER, EXPLORER, LOCKED UP ABROAD, , MAN-MADE,  DOGTOWN, NAT GEO PRESENTS, NGC FRIDAY, WILD.


SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Nat Geo either removed or changed the time periods of four of its core Series in April. LOCKED UP ABROAD moved from Monday 10p to Wednesday at the same time. Monday is now all Specials and anthologies. EXPLORER still anchors Tuesdays at 10pm, INSIDE on Wednesdays at 9 only, Thursday is Science themed with 8p MAN MADE and NAKED SCIENCE at 10p now joined by the NGC HI-TECH anthology full-time at 9p. NGC FRIDAYS now starts the evening, as DOG WHISPERER graces Friday nights with a single run now at 9p, while Saturdays start with Natural History at 8pm. Sundays are anthology slots used for specials, themed stacks and one-offs.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

MARCH-APRIL 2009:

Mondays at 9pm-NAT GEO PRESENTS (from HARD TIME)
Mondays at 10pm-NAT GEO PRESENTS (from LOCKED UP ABROAD)

Wednesdays at 8pm-Various (from NAT GEO PRESENTS)

Wednesdays at 10pm-LOCKED UP ABROAD (from INSIDE)

Thurdays at 9pm-NGC HI TECH (from Various)

Fridays at 8pm-NGC FRIDAY (from DOG WHISPERER)
Saturdays at 8pm-WILD (from SUPER SATURDAY)

PREMIERES:

APRIL AND BEYOND:

**LOCKED UP ABROAD - April 1, 10pm.
**GRAND CANYON SKYWALK - April 2, 8pm.
**GREAT WHITE ODYSSEY - April 19.
**GARBAGE MOGULS - April 22.
**WAKING THE BABY MAMMOTH - April 26.
**IN THE WOMB: EXTREME ANIMALS - May 10.

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

Nat Geo's earlier strong 2009 growth slowed as second quarter got underway. The month was up slightly in Households, but flat in the key P25-54 demo, compared to APril '08. While Wednesday continued March's year-to-year slide in Households, demos earned a sharp up-tick, especially younger adults. Also, the return of WILD to the regular Saturday schedule  jump-started that night to powerful double-digit Household and demo growth.

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:           
April 2009 vs. April 2008 (% change)           
HH    P18-49    P25-54                   
Monday 8-11pm        18%     7%          17%                   
Tuesday 8-11pm       33%   10%          10%                   
Wednesday 8-11pm -12%  55%          23%                   
Thursday 8-11pm       0%  -12%         -18%                   
Friday 8-11pm             0%   -29%         -22%                   
Saturday 8-11pm       78%    44%         67%                   
Sunday 8-11pm           0%    -23%        -15%                   
MTWTFSS 8-11pm      7%      0%            0%                   

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

MARCH 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS

Monday's delivery for Households and P25-54 was fairly consistent throughout the evening, as a 3-hour block of MYSTERIES OF THE BIBLE highlighted a specials-heavy April. The final run of HARD TIME at 9p on 4/6 was the high point of the month. April was flat with March for Households and down 17% for the demo.

Tuesday's second run of MYSTERIES OF THE BIBLE grew 17%  in Households over the Monday average while increasing 23% night to night for P25-54. This stunt was the high point of the month for Tuesday, as on average it remained flat with March, despite the strong Household and modest demo increaases over April '08.

Wednesday's ultimate hour of LOCKED UP ABROAD consistently held or improved its 9p lead-in. This was also the only consistent series featured that night.  While Wednesday was the only night of the week to decline in annual Household share, month-to-month results show a 25% increase, fueled by sharp growth in female demos.

Thursday saw the recently added NGC HI TECH filling the middle hour of their Science block by holding the MAN MADE lead-in's Households but dropping nearly a quarter of P25-54 at 9p. Month-to-month delivery was unchanged.

Friday's remaining run of DOG WHISPERER at 9p grew 14% out of its NGC FRIDAY lead-in, which in itself was strong enough to spur the entire night's series  to Top 10 status for the month. Ultimate hour DOGTOWN generally held its similar-appeal lead-in. Despite this, Friday showed the greatest year-to-year demo drops, although delivery remains flat with March '09.

Conversely, Saturday saw the greatest annual growth across the board, with the strongest hour of the night at 8p, anchored by WILD. Still the weakest overall night of the week, for NGC, Saturday was down considerably month-to-month, including a 40% drop for P25-54.

Sunday's mixed bag of Specials and anthologies was flat in Households and down slightly in demos, when compared with last year and last month. The night's high point was the 2-hour special WAKING THE BABY MAMMOTH, which nearly doubled the night's monthly average shares for Households and demos.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

DOG WHISPERER, DOGTOWN, EXPLORER, INSIDE, LOCKED UP ABROAD, MAN-MADE,  NAKED SCIENCE, TABOO, ULTIMATE FACTORIES, WILD, DEADLY DOZEN.

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced

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