Travel Channel Performance/Schedule Analysis - July 2009

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of August 16, 2009)

CURRENT AND SIGNATURE PROGRAMS:

ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS (NON-FICTION)
The Indiana Jones of the food world, this chef/author/restauranteur/adventurer tours the world in search of gastronomic delights and quests.
Status: Currently airing.


BEST PLACES TO FIND CASH AND TREASURE
(NON-FICTION)
Like emeralds, diamonds, artifacts, other valuable items and, well, treasures!
Status: On Hiatus

BIZARRE FOODS WITH ANDREW ZIMMERN (NON-FICTION)
Utilizing his knowledge of all things edible, Andrew Zimmern is on a quest to find the world's most bizarre foods.
Status: Currently airing.  Produced by Tremendous Entertainment.

BRIDGET'S SEXIEST BEACHES (NON-FICTION)
Hosted by Bridget Marquardt (THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR) as she travels the world's top beach locations.
Status: On hiatus.  Produced by Prometheus Entertainment.

DHANI TACKLES THE GLOBE (NON-FICTION)
NFL linebacker, Dhani Jones travels to different countries and immerses himself into the culture's specific sport.
Status: On hiatus.   Produced by Red Line Films.

GHOST ADVENTURES (NON-FICTION)
Paranormal investigator, Zak Bagans and his crew, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin search for haunted locations both domestically and internationally.
Status: Season 2 premiered in June,2009. Produced by My Entertainment TV.

LIVING WITH THE KOMBAI TRIBE (NON-FICTION)
Mark and Olly are the guys who trek to remote corners of the world to learn about unique tribes and their culture.
Status: On hiatus

MAN VS. FOOD (NON-FICTION)
Adam Richman sets out to travel the country in search of the best places to do some serious indulging.
Status: Season 2 premieres in August.  Produced by Sharp Entertainment

MOST HAUNTED (NON-FICTION)
One of the few acquisitions, inside haunted European locations and attempts to communicate with the dead.
Status: Currently airing.

PASSPORT WITH SAMANTHA BROWN (NON-FICTION)
One of the network's stars, Sam takes us to Europe this month.
Status: Currently airing.

JULY 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:
GHOST ADVENTURES, MAN VS. FOOD. ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS


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, Tuesday is ANDREW ZIMMERN BIZARRE FOODS, and Friday is GHOST ADVENTURES.  The remaining nights feature an occasional series such as MAN VS FOOD or SAMANTHA BROWN, but the overwhelming majority of the timeslots are filled with single hour programs.  Thematic stacks and diverse topics, premieres and repeats, they're all mixed throughout the one up portion of the schedule.  It remains one of the few non-fiction based network schedules with a large number of one up programs in basic cable.   


UPCOMING PREMIERES:

**  August 5 - MAN VS FOOD (Season 2)
** September 1 - ANDREW ZIMMERN'S BIZARRE WORLD

JUNE 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison:
July 2009 vs. July 2008 (% change)

HH

A18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

-15%

-10%

-9%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-7%

-6%

-11%

Wednesday 8-11pm

15%

50%

33%

Thursday 8-11pm

23%

15%

13%

Friday 8-11pm

33%

64%

54%

Saturday 8-11pm

-21%

33%

27%

Sunday 8-11pm

22%

38%

40%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

4%

23%

-13%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample


Another month, another batch of year on year increases.  For the 11th consecutive month, Travel experiences annual growth, this time with some very nice double digit numbers.  Men and women contribute fairly equally to growth.  Median age was down 6% from last year.  Although not a cause for major concern just yet, median age was the highest its been in all of 2009.  Primary culprit appears to be the single hour programs featured on Thursday and Sundays.  So how much longer can they keep the growth curve going?  We'll stick to our prior predictions and say at least until the Fall.

Top series for the month was GHOST ADVENTURES.  A full slate of Friday night premieres at 9pm, combined with repeats at 10pm, overindexed the network averages in key demos by as much as 20%.   We also like the network resisting overexposure by limiting the series to just Fridays.  No regular repeats across the week. 

MAN VS FOOD wasn't too far behind, also outdelivering the network averages for the month.  No premieres though, just repeats from the first season anchoring Wednesday nights.  Find a consistent series lead-in to replace the one-ups and the Wednesday could be the strongest night of the week.

Monday night's ANTHONY BOURDAIN fearured two premiere episodes in the latter half of the month, both knocking it out of the park.  The Australia episode was the highest rated individual telecast of the month.  Repeats were another story.  8pm repeats struggled, and 9pm airings had mixed results.  Overall, the series saw heavy drops for woman on a year to year basis.  keep the premieres coming or cut back on the repeats, but this one is wearing thin right now.

After debuting in the final week of June, BITE ME W/ DR MIKE dropped significantly in July.  We said the heavy male skew could be a liability and it appears that's come to pass.  Men left in droves after the series premiere and the women were limited to begin with.  End result is a 25-35% drop in key demos from the debut.  Not expecting a second season on this one.

Weekends were up considerably over last year.  Friday and Sunday's numbers were legitimately strong, whereas Saturday's growth is just reflection of a very poor showing last year.  Friday's boost stems from the aforementioned GHOST ADVENTURES.  Saturday featured a couple of decent premieres of SAMANTHA BROWN.  Sam's repeats weren't so hot though.  Companion show CRUISES WE LOVE didn't live up to it's title, at least for the first two weeks in July.

Sunday's bump comes courtesy of themed stacks of one-up programming including Bourdain, picnic foods, and national parks.  A A few of the programs found their way into the top telecasts of the month.  However, reiterating our earlier comments, while the programming has rated well, it brought with it a bevy of older viewers.  Sunday night had the oldest median age of the week.  Sometimes growth isn't always where you want it.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

None announced

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

MAN V. FOOD (8/09), DHANI TACKLES THE GLOBE, SAMANTHA BROWN'S GREAT WEEKENDS, MARK & OLLY: LIVING WITH ..., ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS, BEST PLACES TO FIND CASH AND TREASURES, MOST HAUNTED


PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None this month.

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