We know Travel Channel’s ratings have seen better days but just wait until you see our new shows later this year, Scripps Networks President Burton Jablin essentially told investors Thursday.
Ratings were’t the only losses Travel Channel felt in the first quarter- the channel’s operating revenue decreased 4.8% year-over-year. And while Scripps’ quarterly advertising revenue grew year-over-year it was “soft scatter pricing and some audience delivery issues at Travel Channel and Food Network” that offset that revenue set’s full growth potential, Jablin said.
“I can tell you that [Travel Channel’s ratings and revenue decreases weren’t] unexpected,” Jablin said during the company’s earnings call. “We made some schedule changes last year so we’ve got some difficult comps to the first and second quarters. We moved some programming more limited on our schedule that wasn’t attracting the upscale audience that we want. So what’s happening is, while the ratings have declined a bit, and a bit more than we expected in the first quarter to be honest, the audience composition has gotten better.”
New programming has of course been the crux of the channel’s focus in recent months as Jablin expressed optimism for ratings growth from new shows premiering this spring and summer. Expedition Unknown and Booze Traveler, for example, both debuted a few months ago with the highest new series ratings since 2008 and both will have a second season.
As the channel looks to expand to more international markets its U.K. audience more than doubled year-over-year for the quarter.