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Star-Spangled Rebrand

Destination America today (March 16) will roll out a refreshed logo, a new on-air graphics package and new image spots emphasizing its focus on Americana-themed content.

While most cable networks are looking to narrowly focus their brand messages, Destination America wants to broaden its identity in a “fresh and fun” way to encompass numerous genres including travel, sports food and real estate, general manager Marc Etkind said.

The strategy seems to be working from a ratings standpoint.

A network-record number of viewers— some 226,000 — made the trek to the 60 million-subscriber Destination America in 2014, per Nielsen. It also showed year-to-year primetime gains in the key demographics of adults 18-49 and 25-54.

That primetime audience isn’t as large as parent network Discovery Channel, with 1.1 million viewers, or even fellow Discovery digital network ID, with 811,000 viewers in the daypart. But Destination America’s 18% year-over-year growth rate in primetime for 2014 was the higher than Discovery’s other networks.

“We’re about American entertainment and fun with content from barbecue to wrestling, along with lots of great American locations like Yellowstone and Grand Canyon, so we wanted our package to reflect the diversity of American travel,” Etkind said.

Destination America also pinned down record primetime ratings highs in January, following the Jan. 16 launch of TNA Wrestling’s weekly series Impact Wrestling, which moved to Destination America after a nine-year run on Spike TV. The series is averaging nearly 500,000 viewers each week on a live-plus-seven-day basis, for each Friday-night premiere, per Nielsen.

It’s been three years the environmentally themed Planet Green was rebranded as the food, home and travel-focused Destination America. Since then, the network has broadened and expanded its content mix with more mass-appeal shows like Impact Wrestling.

The network will continue to build on its real estate and property programming with the recent renewals of freshman shows Buying Bayou and Timber Kings, which profiles the development of log-based mansions.

Etkind said Destination America doesn’t see any one specific network as a main competitor, but vies for viewers against the many general-entertainment services targeting adults 18-54.

“We see ourselves as a broader entertainment network,” he said. “We’re just trying to find passionate viewers, and we know we have that for our biggest shows.”