February might be the shortest month, but it is not short on annual holidays and television events that present programming opportunities. This year CableU’s 30 Top Networks helped television viewers celebrate Super Bowl XLVII (PUPPY BOWL on Animal Planet), Valentine’s Day (50 Ways To Leave Your Lover – ID, “Tickle’s Guide to Love” on MOONSHINERS - Discovery), President’s Day (KILLING LINCOLN on NGC), Grammy and SAG Awards presentations (FASHION POLICE on E!), Black History Month (THE BET HONORS on BET, Betty and Coretta on Lifetime) and NBA All Star Weekend on TNT. (Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be any World Nutella Day programming – Food Network, where were you?) It was also Nielsen’s winter sweeps month, which was undoubtedly the most observed and revered event of them all. The cablers were out in force with specials, new episodes and spin-offs of their signature programming, plus a small handful of new program launches.
H2 led the pack in growth versus last year with ANCIENT ALIENS in its fifth season and AMERICA UNEARTHED in the midst of its first season. Nat Geo’s debut of KILLING LINCOLN helped boost it to the top of the growth chart, while OPRAH’S NEXT CHAPTER (Beyonce) and new program BLACKBOARD WARS helped lift OWN vs. last year. Discovery has been a regular visitor to the top of the growth chart, as gold and moonshining programming consistently perform. Usually steady HGTV made the top five growth networks this month with both its household and demo growth, as a blend of solid performers (HOUSE HUNTERS) and new programming (ISLAND HUNTERS, REHAB ADDICT) hit the right mix.
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