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Science Channel Analysis


Themed nights are the order of the day, filled with short series, long series, and single hours in between.  There is a fairly large spread among the average ages of the audience night to night.  While there use to be an extremely heavy reliance on acquisition HOW IT'S MADE, in recent months, Science has reduced the amount of airings by a significant number, opening the schedule to more original series.


Live + SD Primetime Ratings Comparison / September 2012 vs. September 2011 (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

What used to be a network that relied nearly primarily on re-airings of HOW IT'S MADE has developed into a network with a full slate of original series in various genres and high-profile specials.  This paid off well for the network in September, which was a solid month for Science, up 33% in overall HH viewers and saw similar increases in key younger demographics.

Monday nights in August featured a variety of stacked episodes of space-themed programming.  In September, airings of HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS along with a variety of other programs (everything from SOLAR STORMS: THE THREAT to ALIEN ENCOUNTERS to FROZEN PLANET) catapulted the HH ratings up 71% compared to September 2011.  SOLAR STORMS was the highest-rated program of the month in overall viewers for Science, and Monday nights were the strongest of the week for Science.

Tuesdays in September also saw year-to-year growth in overall HH ratings, as well as in the key younger demographics.  The night had somewhat of a bizarre schedule - everything from marathons of MYTHBUSTERS to SURVIVORMAN, to a 9/11 tribute, RISING: REBUILDING GROUND ZERO.  While most programs hovered around average, SURVIVORMAN TEN DAYS, the new iteration of the Discovery favorite, scored the highest numbers for the network.

Thought-provoking originals were on the agenda for Wednesday nights in September, and the genre clearly resonates with the Science audience.  The night was up 6% in overall viewers, but it's skewing older than it did last year, and numbers in the younger demos were down from September 2011.  HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS delivered well for the network, but several other programs including WHEN WE LEFT EARTH and WONDERS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM, failed to hit average.

Thursday nights are anchored by stacked episodes of HOW IT'S MADE and HOW DO THEY DO IT, which continue to score average to above-average numbers for Science.  The night is up 67% compared to September of last year.  While there is a heavy rotation of both shows in Science's primetime lineup, the audience is there: HOW IT'S MADE is up 12% overall compared to last year, and HOW DO THEY DO IT saw an increase of 38% - and more among the key younger male demographics.

Friday's numbers saw a year-to-year jump of 27%.  The night was anchored with nature specials BLUE PLANET and FROZEN PLANET, which both successfully delivered average to above-average numbers.  DARK MATTERS, which came back on the schedule toward the end of the month, failed to his average.

Saturdays in September were anchored by marathons of ODDITIES, ODDITIES: SAN FRANCISCO, HOW DO THEY DO IT, and SURVIVORMAN.  Overall, the night was up 27% compared to September 2011.  SURVIVORMAN scored the biggest audience on Saturdays during the month.

Sunday night's primetime lineup was up 13%.  A variety of stacked episodes anchored the schedule in September.