History Channel Strategic Opportunities - May 2009


Series is the name of the game.  Strands are down to just Saturdays, with a few appearances elsewhere to fill in.   While the network has had many years of steady growth, they had been searching for a breakout franchise that could stand above everything else.  ICE ROAD TRUCKERS has done that.  Another one would be a good catch.  Hosts are also a big focus of the network.  Someone who can stand out from the crowd and still maintain the credibility needed for a channel devoted to history.   Until recently, formats have been the domain of sister network A&E.  History is becoming more active in formats and is open to the concepts. 

Specific content that's not on the shopping list right now?  There's plenty of WWII in the mix.  Living History, a la 1900 HOUSE, is of little interest.  No softer topics given the male target audience.  No crime.  Minimal need for limited series and mini-series.  

Take what is "old" and make it "new" again. This is what keeps History hot with its core audience of males 25-54... Take a current technology or modern day event and link to its origins. Shows on technology are always a draw for History Channel's viewers. Uniting modern science with its origins is what makes up just about all of their tech-based shows.

A unique factor of History is that it attracts a predominantly male audience that is otherwise tough to capture by a non-sports network. Male hosts and male experts have obvious appeal to History's viewers and male viewers in general. This also says something about the subject matter and type of content that appeals to this viewer: viewers are already familiar with the general topics covered in the programs, yet are given new information in an entertaining format.


Series and specials with a fresh, modern take on historical topics already familiar to a mass audience. Personalities aren't required but can provide the unique spin needed.


None at present.


Last year's mega hit series ICE ROAD TRUCKERS is set to become an action feature.  Twentieth Century Fox grabbed the rights and will begin working a script shortly.


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