Who’s Hot? Who’s Not! US Nonfiction Cable Networks, 3Q 2012 vs. 3Q 2011

Which U.S. Factual channels were among the biggest gainers and losers of prime time viewers year-to-year?

Among the winners:

  • Discovery’s ID charged on with its Crime-themed schedule that appeals to both Male and Female viewers.
  • Given up by many as headed for yet another re-branding, OWN’s steady management team has set expectations in the right place, and the gains are on the chart.
  • Bio made valuable headway.
  • Discovery Networks is an overall winner, with 5 channels in our top 10 gainers. They are ID, OWN, Animal Planet, Science and Velocity.

 

 

U.S. Factual Channels
Average Quarterly Prime Time Audience
3Q’12 versus 3Q’11
(‘000)

Rating Viewers      
  3Q’12 3Q’12 3Q’11  +/- %
ID 0.7         568        460    108 23%
OWN: Oprah 0.3         275        188      87 46%
Bio 0.3         219        157      62 39%
VH1 0.6         545        484      61 13%
Animal Planet 0.5         477        429      48 11%
H2 0.3         201        155      46 30%
Nat Geo Wild 0.2         142          98      44 45%
Science 0.3         225        189      36 19%
Velocity 0.2           88          56      32 57%
Tru 0.9         829        798      31 4%
Fuel 0.1           33          11      22 200%
Ovation 0.1           59          39      20 51%
DIY 0.2           96          80      16 20%
Military 0.2         145        129      16 12%
Golf 0.1         117        104      13 13%
TLC 0.9         876        865      11 1%
Travel 0.4         334        331        3 1%
WE 0.3         221        220        1 0%
GAC 0.1           46          47       (1) -2%
Logo 0.1           39          40       (1) -3%
HGTV 1.0         999     1,001       (2) 0%
G4 0.2           97        100       (3) -3%
Outdoor 0.1           39          42       (3) -7%
Nat Geo Channel 0.5         380        384       (4) -1%
Food 0.9         893        900       (7) -1%
Fuse 0.1           31          39       (8) -21%
Fit & Health 0.1           71          89     (18) -20%
Oxygen 0.4         319        337     (18) -5%
E! 0.6         540        566     (26) -5%
BET 0.6         581        608     (27) -4%
Speed 0.2         130        157     (27) -17%
Current 0.1           31          63     (32) -51%
IFC 0.1           85        121     (36) -30%
A&E 1.2      1,200     1,242     (42) -3%
Style 0.2         155        208     (53) -25%
Weather 0.2         212        268     (56) -21%
History 1.5      1,458     1,516     (58) -4%
Discovery 0.8         819        886     (67) -8%
SYFY 1.0         984     1,070     (86) -8%
Spike 0.6         592        704   (112) -16%
MTV 0.7         678     1,062   (384) -36%
Factual Nets    15,829   16,243   (414) -3%

Nielsen Media Research

Methodology

Our bucket of channels is not apples-to-apples:

  • It includes channels that are dedicated to non-scripted, for example Nat Geo and Discovery.
  • And others like A&E and MTV that include Scripted in the mix.
  • Smithsonian Channel and other netwoks that commission Factual are unrated.

Our quarterly, high-level snapshot is prepared with the assistance of John Morse, president of research firm Byron Media.

Quantity Not Quality

  • Most ad-supported channels sell media based on their target demos.
  • Nevertheless, our measure of the quarterly ‘average prime time’ audience is a useful tool for gauging relative scale of viewing and year-to-year trends.

HIGHLIGHTS

Losing average prime time viewers are (‘000 / %):

  • MTV (-384 / -36%).  Jersey Shore is washed up and Teen Mom is not an evergreen. Its a shock to see this powerhouse global brand fall into such hard times.  Remember: “I want my MTV!”?
  • Spike (-112 / -16%)
  • SyFy (-86 / -8%)
  • Discovery Channel (-67 / -8%). That’s an improvement on the loss for the previous quarter (-10%).
  • Surprisingly, History showed up among the ‘Not So Hot!’ channels (-58 / -4%). Is History peaking? Maybe its past time for the next Pawn Stars?
  • A&E also lost viewers as several franchise series aged out.
  • There’s barely a pulse at Current, the channel that Al Gore launched.

What?? The Factual Tide Fell!

  • Our Unscripted bucket dropped 3%. That’s the first time in decades of monitoring the unstoppable rise of nonfiction television.
  • Maybe its an anomaly?
  • Broadcast networks and traditional scripted cable channels like TNT are committing more and more slots to nonfiction, and these viewers don’t show up on our scan.

———————-

SAVE $10:00!

International Documentary Buyers’ Guide

Which channels worldwide buy docs?

  • How many do they buy?
  • What are they looking for?
  • Who are the key contacts?
  • How do you reach them?
  • If we have the data, what do they pay?

The International Documentary Buyers’ Guide is an invaluable resource for producers who are working on strategies to pitch ideas or who are selling completed programs to channels.

  • 17 Countries
  • 40 Buyers

Based on original interviews with broadcasters, funders and senior producers conducted for the Hot Docs Forum 2012.

The Guide includes:

  • Executive Personnel
  • Current Strands & Slots
  • Recent Green Lights
  • Channel Profiles
  • Vital Links
  • Takeaways and Analysis

$69.95
Download now
At Checkout, save $10:00 off the regular price using the coupon  
hot docs