Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth the Most Watched Cable Event, Reaching over 65 Million Viewers
Series Breaks Records Across Multimedia Platforms
(Silver Spring, MD) Discovery Channel’s epic series PLANET EARTH has gone down in the record books as cable’s highest-rated natural history program of all time, the most watched cable event* of all time, and the most watched cable event of the season (excluding sports, ranked on P18+, AA (000)). With over 65 million viewers (cume, all dayparts, 1-min. qualifier, including the two-hour “Filmmakers’ Story” special), PLANET EARTH averaged a 3.3 household rating, with each of the series’ 11 episodes premiering to a 3.0 household rating or above.
PLANET EARTH was the #1 ad-supported cable program, excluding sports, among Persons 25-54 for all six Sundays of its air. The series rated on average higher among Men 25-54 than Sunday broadcast programs including The Apprentice (NBC), Brothers & Sisters (ABC) and FOX Easter programming on 4/8 (Family Guy, American Dad, King of the Hill). Compared to Discovery Channel’s prior six Sundays, PLANET EARTH increased the primetime (8-10 PM) average with triple digit ratings gains, including: +121% HH, +133% P25-54 and +150% P18-49.
According to TNS Media Research’s set top box data in a major market, Discovery HD Theater airings of PLANET EARTH boosted the series’ overall household rating by 19%. Directionally, based on that market’s performance, Discovery estimates that an additional 600,000 homes watched PLANET EARTH in HD on average during each premiere episode, nationally.
Additionally, PLANET EARTH delivered over 2 million views on Video On Demand -- the top performing VOD event since Discovery began tracking numbers in October 2004.
On average, PLANET EARTH drew an audience of 5.1 million viewers to each of its premieres. While all programs achieved a 3.0 or higher HH rating, the highest rated episode was “Mountains” on 3/25 (3.8 HH), followed by “Ice Worlds” on 4/1 (3.7 HH).
Providing the ultimate portrait of our planet, PLANET EARTH premiered March 25, 2007 and closed with a two-hour special titled “Planet Earth: The Filmmakers’ Story” on April 29, 2007. A co-production of Discovery Channel and BBC, the critically-acclaimed 11-part high definition series was filmed in over 200 countries and took over five years to produce.
Since its debut in April, the Discovery Channel version of the PLANET EARTH DVD has become the fastest and best selling documentary title in Discovery history, surpassing “Blue Planet,” which has been a top seller since its launch in 2002. PLANET EARTH has sold more units in the past 30 days than “Blue Planet” has in the past five years combined. The Discovery Channel version of PLANET EARTH is available exclusively at Discovery Channel Stores and Discoverystore.com.
The Discovery Channel earned a ratings windfall in April 2007 with a 40% increase in P2+ delivery in primetime (1.0M) and 33% increases in households and P25-54 ratings vs. April 2006. The network ranks #5 overall in cable for the month in household ratings in primetime and #3 overall for the month among P18-49, P25-54 and M25-54.
Discovery Communications, Inc.
Discovery Communications, Inc., is the number-one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion total subscribers in over 170 countries. Through TV and new media, Discovery's 100-plus worldwide networks include Discovery Channel, TLC, Travel Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Health. DCI is owned by Discovery Holding Co. (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), Cox Communications Inc., Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, Discovery’s founder and chairman. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.
* Event defined as original, premiere miniseries programming, with gross rating points totaled across telecasts, excluding sports or news.
** TNS Media Research, Anonymous Digital Return Path Set Top Box Data, March 25, 8-11 PM; April 1- April 22, 8-10 PM, Discovery Channel and Discovery HD Theater AA% combination.