Science Channel Analysis - December 2010

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DECEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

* Bold denotes programming change

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Several years after launch, the schedule grid still provides very little consistency week to week.  Themed nights are the order of the day, filled with short series, long series, and single hours in between.

DECEMBER 2010 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /December 2010 vs. December 2009 (% Change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

8%

40%

14%

Tuesday 8-11pm

14%

14%

22%

Wednesday 8-11pm

17%

0%

17%

Thursday 8-11pm

20%

0%

17%

Friday 8-11pm

-20%

-25%

-8%

Saturday 8-11pm

-7%

-14%

-13%

Sunday 8-11pm

0%

0%

-11%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

7%

0%

13%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Welcome to our first look at the Science Channel.  The first one out of the gate is a little challenging given there is no regular schedule.  Each night is a mix of various hours and half hours, premieres and repeats, one ups and series.  A few of the nights are themed by genre, most of them are a mixed bag.

Median age is one of the oldest we're tracking in the Cable U Top 30.  That's a little surprising to us.  Given the genre, we would have expected median to be a few years younger.

Strongest night of the week for target A25-54 is Friday.  Driving force for the night were episodes of HOW IT'S MADE.  The long running series has been around for more than five years and is still going strong.  It's a top 5 series for the channel, covering about 10% of the entire schedule.

Second best night was Tuesday, largely due to a single repeat of PUNKIN CHUNKIN.  Also popping out were METEORITE MEN and an episode of MANTRACKER.

A few other series are peppered about the week.  HOW DO THEY DO IT was just a tad above average.  MEGA BUILDERS was a tad below.

Then there's the brands that originally aired on sister network Discovery Channel.  DESTROYED IN SECONDS, WEIRD OR WHAT, and ENGINEERING THE IMPOSSIBLE all underperformed channel averages for the month.

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

The Science Channel's addition to the Cable U Top 30 is a long time coming.  The opportunity for growth is massive.  The network name allows the brand to be as broad or narrow as one likes.  The ratings are still lower than most networks, but are measurable enough to determine success and failure on individual programs.   The channel has been commissioning original programming in increasing amounts the last few years.  It's a must see for any producer looking to break into the Discovery Communications portfolio of networks.

Organizational changes at Discovery Communications once again shuffled the deck and placed Science Channel under new management.  The network has shifted from an internal pairing with Discovery Channel to Animal Planet.  The impact on the content and the schedule won't be known for a few months.  Without the direct tie to the flagship, might we see fewer off Discovery series and more originals?  Will Animal Planet's blue chip natural history find it's way over to Science?  Stayed tuned.

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