Animal Planet's theme-based time band strategy pays off

By Anindita Sarkar , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | February 22, 2011
The channel decides to extend the programming design to 11 pm now; refreshes 9 pm line-up, too.

Animal Planet, which has been experimenting with the theme-based time band strategy, has decided to extend the programming design to 11 pm. Christened Line of Control (LOC), the time band will air a total of five series, including Monsters Inside Me, The Haunted, and I'm Alive.

For the record, the channel first introduced the scheme in its programming line-up in 2009 with the 8 pm and 9 pm slot. While the 8 pm slot was titled, Hunt, the 9 pm slot was called Masters Of The Jungle. In mid 2010, the channel added Animal Planet Safari at 7 pm, and by the fag end of 2010, Planet Hour was added to the 10 pm slot.

The channel witnessed an approximate 33 per cent viewership growth in 2010 over 2009 (TAM, C&S15+, All India), indicating that the time-band strategy had helped the channel gain the requisite eyeballs.

Speaking to afaqs, Rahul Johri, senior vice-president and general manager, India, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific said, "The content that comprises the Line of Control (LOC) time band is more edgy and is targetted towards the male, and the older audience set. The band will showcase five shows of 13 episodes each, and will be refreshed after three months."

Elaborating further on the need for themed time-bands, Johri noted that the audience is willing to navigate to the channel if they know what they are going to watch.

"The strategy to introduce themed time-bands has allowed viewers to navigate through the channel better. It has created a distinction between different kinds of wildlife shows and highlighting their unique appeal and entertainment value. This strategy has led to our growth in ratings in both analogue and digital platforms," he says.
The channel has also refreshed, and thus, introduced new content under the theme band, Master of the Jungle. The new series in this slot include River Monsters, Steve's Deadly 60, Jaguar Adventure and Corwin's Quest.

River Monsters tracks the world's most ferocious fish with biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade. In Jaguar Adventure, Nigel Marven hunts for the world's largest jaguars in South America.

Presented by wildlife expert Jake Willers, Wild Events features wildlife practices such as the migration of the wildebeests, the Christmas Island Crabs and the Sardine Run.

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