National Geographic Channel last month launched a new slot to pull in prime time viewers called Nat Geo Max.
With the introduction of Nat Geo Max (Mon-Fri 9:00- 10:00 pm) NCG has also changed the prime time schedule. Unlike Discovery, which has introduced time bands through out the day NGC is concentrating only on the Prime Time as yet. Within the 7:00 pm - 12:00 pm band NGC has introduced genre bands. Each genre catering to a specific audience. For instance Viewers can now see the best of Exploration and Adventure ("On The edge") at 7:00 pm, Wild at 8:00 pm and Science & Technology ("Sci-Files") at 10:00 pm.
Commenting on the move, Dilshad Master, Content and Communications head at NGC says, “The programs shown in this strip represent the best of NGC cutting across various genres – Science, Wild, Explorations & Adventure and People & Place.”
“These Emmy and Academic Award winning films showcase fantastic cinematography, brings forth new knowledge and have mass appeal.” She adds.
The niche channel market, which is pretty small in India right now has seen some action in the last few months. It was Discovery, which started the trend last year. The rescheduling, which was done to pull in viewers by communicating the various time slots of different programmes seems to have worked well for the channel. Quoting TAM data, it claims that primetime viewership has gone up by 21%, while that amongst women has shot up by 41%!
So what was the logic behind treading this path ? Is this a response to Discovery’s initiative? Says Dilshad, “this programming pattern is part of our long term Asia strategy to make the channel more viewer and advertiser friendly. It is driven by in-depth research of our priority markets and caters to the demands of consumer needs. We have dedicated time bands to showcase our various genres during the prime time - Nat Geo Max allows the viewers to sample some of our best programmes. Once the viewer likes what he/she sees, they can then move on to the special interest/genre bands as per their interests.”