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Discovery Channel's Annual SHARK WEEK Celebrated by 30.8 Million People, Making 2010 Most-Watched on Record

(Silver Spring, Md.) Discovery Channel's 23rd annual SHARK WEEK -- cable's longest-running programming event - was seen by 30.8 million people this year, making it the most-watched SHARK WEEK on record. The previous record holder was 2008 with 29.1 million viewers. [Source: Nielsen Media Research; cume; M-Su 8-11P; LSD P2+; 6-minute qualifier]

Airing August 1 to 7, 2010, SHARK WEEK featured six premiere programs -- including two that earned a place on the list of top five rated SHARK WEEK programs of all time (reported since 1996, based on P2+ Delivery): ULTIMATE AIR JAWS (#2) and INTO THE SHARK BITE (#4). These programs were watched by 3.5 million and 2.9 million unique viewers respectively. [Source: Nielsen Media Research; NHI; M-Su 8-11P; LSD P2+; AA(000)]

Discovery Channel was a top five ad-supported cable network among Men (M25-54/M18-49) every night during SHARK WEEK; it was in the top three on six of the seven nights in both demos.

During SHARK WEEK, Discovery Channel's website visitors viewed 2.4 million streams of shark-related video, a 324 percent increase in online viewership over last year (560,000). In fact, the premiere day alone (August 1) drove almost the same number of video streams on Discovery's site as all of SHARK WEEK 2009. This year, DiscoveryChannel.com visitors watched almost 400 different Shark Week video clips. The most popular was "Great White Sharks Jumping," which was viewed over a half million times (http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/shark-week-great-white-sharks-jumping.html).

SHARK WEEK had people on Facebook and Twitter seeing sharks, as conversation around the iconic annual event took over Facebook status updates and Twitter streams throughout the week. SHARK WEEK and shark-related topics trended across U.S. and worldwide audiences on Twitter, staying in the top ten several days last week.

This year's SHARK WEEK featured footage captured by high-tech, high-definition cameras, enabling viewers to see the power of sharks in ways not possible until now. The team in the kick-off show ULTIMATE AIR JAWS employed an HD camera that shoots in super slow motion - 2,000 frames per second, or 20 to 30 times slower than "typical" slow motion footage. Producer Jeff Kurr and shark expert Chris Fallows slow down the footage of breaching great white sharks from one second in real time to almost a full minute. The unparalleled resolution provides so much detail that you can literally count every tooth in the shark's mouth.

Once again this year, Discovery Channel sought to educate the public about the plight of sharks around the world through public service announcements with partner organizations Oceana, Ocean Conservancy and The Pew Charitable Trust. The PSAs aired each night during primetime, informing viewers about threats currently facing plummeting shark populations.

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