Travel Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - April 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of April 17, 2009)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Persons 25-54, though they aim more toward the 40s.

APRIL 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

HAMBURGER PARADISE, EARTH'S NATURAL WONDERS 1 & 2, DEEP FRIED PARADISE, STEAK PARADISE, JAMAICA: PARADISE UNCOVERED, COLORADO: RIVER OF WONDERS, BRIDGETS SEXIEXT BEACHES, HAUNTED LIGHTHOUSES AMERICA, MAN VS. FOOD.

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

April was a particularly special-heavy month, as four hours of regularly scheduled series were replaced by one-offs or themed specials. ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS, the well-established Monday night anchor series, now sandwiches the sports-temed DHANI TACKLES THE GLOBE at 9p; Tuesday is BIZARRE FOODS WITH ANDREW ZIMMERN; Wednesday has strong newcomer MAN V. FOODat 10p, following two hours of one-offs; Thursday offers Beach specials leading into BRIDGET'S SEXIEST BEACHES; Friday is MOST HAUNTED and GHOST ADVENTURES, following an hour of specials; Saturday is a relatively new lineup of MAN V. FOOD, BRIDGET'S SEXIEST BEACHES and SAMANTHA BROWN'S PASSPORT TO...; and Sunday's now-completed Mark & Olly's  LIVING WITH THE...TRIBE, has been replaced by stacks of episodes of established series or theme nights of specials.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

MARCH-APRIL 2009:

Mondays at 9p-DHANI TACKLES THE GLOBE (from ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS)
Sundays  8p -11P- Various (from LIVING WITH THE MACHIGENGA)

PREMIERES:

**BIZARRE FOODS WITH ANDREW ZIMMERN (Season 3) - April 14, 10pm.

MAY AND BEYOND:

**BITE ME WITH DR. MIKE -June 23.
**ANDREW ZIMMERN'S BIZARRE WORLD - Sept.

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

The Travel Channel's run of several straight months of year-to-year growth began to turn for Households, now down 10%, but accelerated in the target P25-54 demo, which was up 19%. Travel has maintained an effective 55% Male/45% female audience ratio.

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:       
April 2009 vs. April 2008 (% change)       
HH    A18-49    A25-54               
Monday 8-11pm       -20%     0%         0%               
Tuesday 8-11pm        0%      0%          0%               
Wednesday 8-11pm  25%    67%        67%               
Thursday 8-11pm       0%     67%        25%               
Friday 8-11pm             0%      0%           0%               
Saturday 8-11pm      -17%    33%        25%               
Sunday 8-11pm         20%    50%         50%               
MTWTFSS 8-11pm       0%     25%        25%               

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

MARCH 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Monday's new offering DHANI TACKLES THE GLOBE continues to be the weak sister of the evening, despite the star's NFL credentials. Households and P25-54 dip at 9P, then rebound for the second run of NO RESERVATIONS W/ ANTHONY BOURDAIN (8:00p & 10:00p). This resulted in a 20% drop for the night overall from last April's Household delivery, although P25-54 held steady. The night's demo delivery  is  down 20%, though, when compared to the pure-BOURDAIN play of the previous month.

Tuesday's ZIMMERN-centric block is consistent from week to week, building to a peak with the ultimate offering  of BIZARRE FOODS WITH ANDREW ZIMMERN at 10p. Households and P25-54 are flat with last year.

Wednesday's food-oriented Specials, which dominated 8:00-10:00p proved a potent lead-in to Top 10 series MAN VS. FOOD, which consistently led the evening in Households and demos. Travel saw its sharpest year-to-year growth on  Wednesday, although the Specials replacing MAN VS. FOOD at 9p significantly under-delivered the series' ratings from March, with double-digit declines in Households and demos month-to-month.

Thursday's sun-splashed combo of Beach specials and 10:00pm BRIDGET'S SEXIEST BEACHES garnered a 25% increase for P25-54, with younger adult delivery growing by 2/3 over April 2008. The former Playmate led the pack, as Travel's pattern of building to a peak in the 10:00p hour held true here as well.

Friday's paranormal combo of GHOST ADVENTURERS & MOST HAUNTED 9:00-11:00p tended to perform better when supported by similarly-themed one-offs at 8:00p, such as HAUNTED LIGHTHOUSES AMERICA. For the month, the night was flat compared to last year across the board, and down 17% in P25-54 from March.

Saturday offers a repeat of the previous Wednesday's MAN VS. FOOD double-run, which leads into an hour of Specials, followed by a SAM BROWN duo - GREAT WEEKEND at 10:00p, and PASSPORT TO EUROPE on the half-hour. Household delivery is flat with April '08, but the demo is up 25%. However, Friday night's month-to-month drop in the demo continues with a 17% decline March-April.

Sundays feature themed blocks - either series marathons (MAN VS. FOOD)  or genre specific blocks (Natural Wonders) from 8:00-11:00p. Week-to-week delivery was fairly consistent, with the MAN VS. FOOD block earning high marks. Compared to both last year and last month, the night is up 20% in Households and 50% for P25-54.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

AMAZING RACE - Season 12, 13 & 14.

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

MAN V. FOOD, BRIDGET'S SEXIEST BEACHES, DHANI TACKLES THE GLOBE, SAMANTHA BROWN'S GREAT WEEKENDS, MARK & OLLY: LIVING WITH ..., ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS, BEST PLACES TO FIND CASH AND TREASURES, BIZARRE FOODS WITH ANDREW ZIMMERN, MOST HAUNTED, NOT YOUR AVERAGE TRAVEL GUIDE, TASTE OF AMERICA, 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE.

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None this month.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

GREAT HOTELS, EPICURIOUS, GLOBE TREKKER, THIS JOB'S A TRIP, TRAVEL CAFE, AMAZING VACATION HOMES, WORLD ODYSSEYS, VACATION HOME SEARCH, NOT YOUR AVERAGE TRAVEL GUIDE, LIVING WITH THE KOMBAI, KIDS IN CHARGE: FAMILY VACATIONS, 5 TAKES, TRIBAL ODYSSEY, INTO ALASKA WITH JEFF CORWIN, MADE IN AMERICA, LEGEND HUNTERS

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