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[12/21/04 - 12:00 AM]
Unlocking Davinci's Code' Unlocks Record Ratings Bonanza for National Geographic Channel with Network High 4.1 Million Viewers

[via press release from National Geographic Channel]

'Unlocking DaVinci's Code' Unlocks Record Ratings Bonanza for National Geographic Channel with Network High 4.1 Million Viewers

Special Powers NGC to Top 10 Prime Position; Sets Stage for Record Fourth Quarter

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 -- National Geographic Channel (NGC) set the latest in a string of ratings records for the young network with a 1.6 HH rating and 1.2 P25-54 rating for the special "Unlocking DaVinci's Code: The Full Story." Premiering Sunday, Dec. 19 from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT, "Unlocking DaVinci's Code" led to the highest prime rating in the network's history -- both in households and demos, landing NGC in the top 10 cable networks in prime for the first time. The special also led the network to its highest rated day average and set the stage for Q4 04 to be the network's second consecutive record quarter in HH and demos.

A total of 1.3 million persons 2+ on average watched "Unlocking DaVinci's Code: The Full Story" on Sunday night -- the first time NGC has broken the one million mark. Furthermore, more than four million tuned in to part of the special with more than 2.8 million tuned in for the 9 p.m. broadcast alone.

Additional highlights for the 9 -11 p.m. airing include:

* 1.6 HH rating up 433% from Q4 04 prime avg in HH rating

* 1.2 P25-54 rating up 500% from Q4 04 prime avg in P25-54 rating

* 0.5 HH rating in total day up 150% from Q4 04 avg

* 0.3 P25-54 rating in total day up 50% from Q4 04

* NGC ranked as the #6 cable network from 9-11 p.m. in HH, outrating A&E,

* Animal Planet, Bravo, Discovery, Food Network, Fox News Channel, History Channel, HGTV, TBS, TLC, TNT and Travel Channel NGC ranked as the #3 cable network from 9-11 p.m. in P25-54, outrating ABC Family, A&E, Animal Planet, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Discovery, Food Network, Fox News Channel, History Channel, HGTV, Lifetime, MTV, TBS, TLC, TNT and Travel Channel

"Unlocking DaVinci's Code: The Full Story" also propelled NGC to a record prime:

* Highest prime HH average with a 1.4 rating -- up 367% from Q4 04 prime avg

* Highest P25-54 prime rating with a 1.0 rating -- up 400% from Q4 04 prime avg

* NGC ranked as the #8 (tied) cable network in overall prime HH, outrating or tying A&E, Animal Planet, Bravo, Discovery, Food Network, Fox News Channel, History Channel, HGTV, MTV, TBS, TLC, TNT and Travel Channel in HHs

* NGC ranked as the #6 cable network in overall prime in P25-54, outrating ABC Family, A&E, Animal Planet, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Discovery, Food Network, Fox News Channel, History Channel, HGTV, MTV, TBS, TLC and Travel Channel

"Unlocking DaVinci's Code: The Full Story" also set record ratings for local markets, including:

* New York: 1.2 HH rating, beating A&E, Comedy Central, Discovery, Food Network, Fox News Channel, HGTV, MTV, Sci-Fi and TBS

* Los Angeles: 1.0 HH rating, beating A&E, Court TV, Discovery, E!, Fox News Channel, History Channel, MTV, Sci-Fi and Spike

* Boston: 1.0 HH rating, beating CNN, Comedy Central, Court TV, Discovery, Food Network, Fox News Channel, FX, Lifetime, TBS and TNT

Additional local market highlights include Houston (1.2 HH rating); Charlotte (1.2 HH rating); Milwaukee (3.0 HH rating); and Kansas City (1.2 HH rating).

A special encore presentation of "Unlocking DaVinci's Code: The Full Story" will air Christmas Day, Saturday Dec. 25 at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m PT.

With NGC's two highest rated nights (Oct. 24 with Inside the U.S. Secret Service and Dec. 19 with "DaVinci") leading the way, Q4 04 will be the highest rated quarter in the network's history:

* New original series Naked Science (0.4 HH avg), MegaStructures (0.4 HH avg) and Seconds from Disaster (0.4 HH avg) rank as the network's highest rated series ever

* Q4 04 HH rtg is on target to avg. a record 0.32 rtg, + 60% from Q4 03

* Q4 04 P25-54 rtg is on target to avg. a record 0.18 rtg, + 80% from Q4 03

"Unlocking DaVinci's Code: The Full Story" marks the latest milestone in the history of NGC, which celebrates its fourth anniversary in January. NGC launched the most premieres in the network's history this fall with record results, including two record setting quarters in a row, concluding with Q4 04; the highest rated prime month (Dec. 04 tied with Sept. 04); and the highest rated original series (MegaStructures). The record ratings continue the momentum, which began when NGC launched its "Dare to Explore" campaign last January, which included a new look for the network across all fronts -- print, on-air and new media -- and the upfront announcement of an ambitious new programming slate.

Since the "Dare to Explore" repositioning, ratings have seen a steady rise. Breakout year-to-date success compared to 2003 includes:

* P25-54 prime impressions growth of 67% from 03

* HH prime impressions growth of 69% from 03

* P2+ prime impressions growth of 66% from 03

The fastest-growing cable network since its launch in the U.S. in January 2001, NGC is currently in 52 million households.

Based at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel is a joint venture between National Geographic Television & Film (NGT&F) and Fox Cable Networks. National Geographic Channel debuted to an initial 10 million homes in January 2001, and has been one of the fastest growing networks in history. The Channel has carriage with all of the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available to 52 million homes. For more information, please visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com/channel.

Source: Nielsen Media Research

SOURCE National Geographic Channel
Web Site: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/channel -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- More news from PR Newswire... Issuers of news releases and not PR Newswire are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content. Terms and conditions, including restrictions on redistribution, apply. Copyright � 1996-2004 PR Newswire Association LLC. All Rights Reserved. A United Business Media company.





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