The players: The company has 13 ad-supported networks in total, but the five with the highest ratings and carriage are Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel and Discovery Health.
Key execs: New President-CEO David Zaslav, formerly the head of cable and new-media distribution at NBC, who joined Jan. 1, and Joe Abruzzese, president-ad sales.
The ratings game: 2006 was a ratings comeback year for Discovery, which grew 13% year-to-year from January 2005 in household ratings and ranked ninth in total day viewing among adults 25-54. TLC also saw a ratings spike, while Animal Planet dropped 5% among its core of adults 25-54 but grew 6% in prime time in 2006.
What you'll hear: In 2007, Discovery will return to its roots as the go-to channel for event-based science and history programming. TLC can still deliver women 25-54 and significant brand recall. Animal Planet and Travel are both rich in baby boomers and parents watching with kids; Discovery Health will continue to be a destination for medical programming.
The buyer's verdict: John Moore, senior VP-group media director for Mullen's Media Hub in Boston, said Discovery was smart to focus its male programming, taking shows like "American Chopper" off female-friendly TLC. "When people think about reaching young men, you don't think about Discovery; you think Comedy Central, Spike, ESPN. They are absolutely a key network in reaching young men but could do a better job of being top of mind" for that demo.