Sci Fi Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - December 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of January 19, 2009)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults 25-54 (Sci Fi's "Alternative Programming" skews younger - Adults 18-49.)

DECEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING, GHOST HUNTERS, SCI FI ORIGINAL MOVIE, SCI FI MOVE, SANCTUARY, ESTATE OF PANIC, STARGATE ATLANTIS, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, SCARE TACTICS, CHA$E, LOST

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Monday nights in December featured episodes of the high-profile acquisition LOST through the middle of the month.  For the first time in many months, the network shifted Sci Fi movies to Monday for the rest of 2008.  (LOST is back on the Monday night schedule as of January 2009.)

EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING remains a staple at 9pm on Tuesday nights.  In December, CHA$E served as its lead-in earlier in the month, and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and a MOVIE later on.  CHA$E served as the lead-out at 10pm throughout most of December.

Wednesday nights remains stacked episodes of the hour-long GHOST HUNTERS, followed by newbie ESTATE OF PANIC.

Thursdays remain a SCI FI MOVIE night (save for a marathon of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION on Christmas Day.

Fridays are a lineup of Sci Fi's best original series - this month, it was STARGATE ATLANTIS and SANCTUARY.

Saturday's and Sunday's primetime lineups feature a variety of Sci Fi Channel MOVIES and ORIGINAL MOVIES.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2008:

**SCI FI MOVIE replaced LOST on Monday nights midway through December.

DECEMBER AND BEYOND:

PREMIERES:

**GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL will debut January 7, 2009, and
**Season 5 of GHOST HUNTERS will premiere in March 2009.

FINALES:

**STARGATE ATLANTIS will conclude in January 2009.YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:December 2008 saw some mild losses in overall viewers when compared to December 2007.  Down 13% in HH share, the network also saw moderate losses across all key demographics.

Original series are still performing well and the nights that offer them (Wednesdays and Fridays, now, specifically) were up fairly significantly from a year ago (15% and 27%, respectively.)

Viewers are still clearly responding well to the ever-expanding GHOST HUNTERS franchise and many more of Sci Fi's solid original series.  With several new original series in the horizon, 2009 is looking very strong for the network.

DECEMBER 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS: After several months of increasd ratings, December was a fairly quiet month for the Sci Fi Channel.  Compared to November 2008, the ratings were flat overall.

Monday nights saw big jumps from last month.  Performing extremely well for the network were two movies that aired on Monday, December 22, breaking the schedule from stacked episodes of ABC aquisition LOST. 

EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING is still leading the Tuesday night charge, scoring well above average in its timeslot at 9pm.  Lead-out CHA$E is able to maintain some of the audience at 10pm and SCARE TACTICS (on 12/23) also performed fairly well in the lead-out spot.  Lead-ins at 8pm could use some work, however, and that might be a timeslot for producers to focus their efforts on.

Wednesday nigths are one of the week's strongest in December, despite a modest drop in viewers versus November.  New episodes of GHOST HUNTERS continue to attract viewers and look for more of the franchise to debut in 2009.


New original series, returning franchises, and stronger concepts have all contributed to continuing Sci Fi Channel's end-of-the-year success.  Although down slightly from October 2008 (7%), the network saw tremendous growth in the year-to-year ratings.

High-profile acquisition LOST on Monday nights continues to flounder, as viewers have either already gotten their fix or are turning in elsewhere to see the programs.  Easily the weakest night of the week for yet another month.

Tuesdays were down slightly from last month.  EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING continues to rate well, and newcomer CHA$E was clearly able to retain much of the lead-out audience.

Wednesday nights remains GHOST HUNTERS night.  Despite a small loss from October, new episodes continue to score well above-average ratings.  Look for more of the GHOST HUNTERS franchise in the coming months.  Wednesday was the strongest night of the week this month.

Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays are all linueps of MOVIES and ORIGINAL MOVIES on the Sci Fi Channel.  Thursdays in December saw nice gains in viewers over November.  Saturday and Sunday were both flat from a month ago.  National Treasure, on Sunday, 12/28, score some of the biggest movie numbers for the network in December.

Friday nights' lineup of sci fi originals  comes in with above-average ratings (despite a modest slip from November.)  Newcomer SANCTUARY scored big off of STARGATE ATLANTIS as its lead in, and the show has been renewed.


PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:
The Sci Fi Channel aquired two direct-to-DVD STARGATE Movies: Ark of Truth and Continuum

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

DESTINATION TRUTH has been renewed for a third season, set to debut in Fall 2009.

SCI Fl announced an expansion of both the hit paranormal franchise as well as the Channel's partnership with Craig Piligian's Pilgrim Films and Television.  The multi-part deal includes a sixth season of GHOST HUNTERS, a second season of GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL and a six-episode order of the recently announced pilot GHOST HUNTERS: NEW GENERATION [working title].  In addition, Pilgrim will develop an entirely new series for the Channel with an eye toward a 2010 premiere.


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

The final season of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA will consist of 10 episodes, followed by a 2 hour movie, which will begin airing in in early 2009.

The final episode of STARGATE ATLANTIS airs in January 2009.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

ESTATE OF PANIC, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION

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