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Travel Channel Tells Ghost Stories to Young, Female Audience

Time shifting has helped Travel Channel grow the audience for Ghost Adventures, with the series’ most recent season clocking in as one of its most watched ever in total viewers. That’s one of the findings from a Thursday report by B&C’s sister brand Ratings Intelligence that looks takes a close look at ratings for the series, whose 10th season premieres Oct. 4. The series is part of a growing trend in paranormal themed unscripted series, whose ranks include TLC’s Long Island Medium, Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, H2’s Ancient Aliens, Destination America’s A Haunting and several offerings from Lifetime Movie Network.

In its ninth season, Ghost Adventures—which features three experts investigating alleged paranormal activity—averaged 854,000 total viewers in Nielsen live-plus-same day ratings and 1.3 million in in live-plus-seven. Those numbers are up substantially from season one (549,000 L+SD and 572,000 L+7) and the series’ nadir at season five (482,000 L+SD and 564,000 L+7). So while season nine was up 56% from season one 77% from season 5 in L+SD, it grew by 127% from season one and 131% from season five in L+7.

Ratings Intelligence also found that Ghost Adventures was Travel Channel’s most-watched series year to date, averaging a 0.61 rating among adults 18-49 in season nine L+7. Though the series skews female, averaging a 0.65 among women 18-49 and a 0.57 among men 18-49, it outperforms other Travel Channel series by a wider margin among men than it does among women. Discounting spinoff Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks, the closest in-house competition among men 18-49 is Toy Hunter at 0.34, which Ghost Adventures outpaces by .23. Among women 18-49 the closest competitor is Dead Files at .55, a difference of .1.

Ghost Adventures also skews significantly younger than other networks’ paranormal series with a median age for season nine of 39.1. Though higher rated, Long Island Medium and Ghost Hunters skew much older at 51.4 and 47.3, respectively.