Travel Channel Analysis - October 2011

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

The schedule is built around a handful of key series at 9pm or 10pm, complemented by repeats of the same on the same night.  Monday features ANTHONY BOURDAIN and ANDREW ZIMMERN BIZARRE FOODS.  Wednesday is MAN VS FOOD and TRUCK STOP, and Friday is GHOST ADVENTURES.  The remaining nights feature an occasional series such as WHEN VACATIONS ATTACK.  Thematic stacks and diverse topics, premieres and repeats, are all mixed throughout the one up portion of the schedule.  This month in particular had a particularly paranormal-themed twist, as Travel Channel celebrated Halloween.

OCTOBER 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-13%

-13%

6%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-18%

-32%

-16%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-38%

-24%

-32%

Thursday 8-11pm

-32%

-38%

-35%

Friday 8-11pm

-2%

7%

-3%

Saturday 8-11pm

-18%

-17%

-10%

Sunday 8-11pm

-4%

19%

13%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-19%

-14%

-14%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

If there's anything that can be determined from October's numbers, Travel Channel viewers like to be scared.  In this month of Halloween, Friday night's lineup of of GHOST ADVENTURES and DEAD FILES resonated most with viewers, and more than half of the top ten programs for the month had a paranormal-theme.  Friday nights saw a jump of 38% compared to September and a nice jump in female viewers from a year ago (up 21% in women 18-49).

Unfortunately, the other nights of the week fared a little less well this month for Travel.  Monday nights in October continued the NO RESERVATIONS/BIZARRE FOODS lineup.  The numbers are down on both series from both a month and year ago.  We can only assume Travel Channel is grateful for the premiere of Bourdain's new series, THE LAYOVER, in November.

Tuesdays saw the premiere of two new series, MADE IN AMERICA and MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM (October 4.)  While numbers held steady following the premiere throughout the month, numbers were barely average and the night was down from last month and last year (-12% and -18%, respectively).  The night skewed older, too.

Wednesday night, second strongest of the week for Travel, saw solid numbers for MAN V. FOOD and spinoff MAN V. FOOD NATION.  Despite a drop compared to numbers last year, more men are tuning in than did a month ago.   Still, MAN V. FOOD is down 36% in overall viewers from a year ago, and also saw drops across all key demos.  NATION's numbers are slightly better.

TRUCK STOP MISSOURI and MAN VS. FOOD anchored Thursday nights in October (save for a MAKING MONSTERS stunt on 10/27.)  TRUCK STOP's numbers are floating above average, and the show saw a nice boost from a month ago, up 10% in overall viewers.

Saturday nights in October featured various stunts of different paranormal-themed shows.  Numbers were all over the map - top spot for Saturdays goes to MOST TERRIFYING PLACES.

Sunday skewed the youngest of the week, thanks to yet another night of paranormal, and special HALLOWEEN CRAZY, which was the highest-rated program of the month.

With several solid brands, great characters, and a unique space, Travel Channel is poised to make leaps and bounds in originals.  Bring them talent, bring them unique locations, and don't be afraid to think outside the "travel" box.  Pitches can be loosely related to travel as long as the show is entertaining and appropriate for their audience.

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