The History Channel is always under some sort of criticism from the public about what content appears on the channel’s programming schedule. At first, complaints were about how the channel doesn’t show a good variety of historic topics. After changes were made, viewers continued to complain that the channel shows too much reality shows and not enough historical content. No matter what the complaints are, the public can’t seem to be satisfied with what the History Channel has to offer.
According to Brad Lockwood’s article in Forbes however, The History Channel has been receiving higher ratings since its inclusion of reality shows such as Pawn Stars and American Pickers (Lockwood, 2011).
According to this article, while some viewers may be distraught about what programs are being shown on the History channel, the network, like other networks, may actually be onto something. Lockwood states, “If anything, History is proving the vast potential in stretching a niche for the sake of ratings” (Lockwood, 2011).
The truth is, although the “history” has been taken out of The History Channel in a way, the network has simply been making efforts to restructure its brand according to its viewers’ changing wants and needs. This is similar to Nickelodeon’s rebranding efforts described in Sarah Banet-Weiser’s chapter titled “The Nickelodeon Brand: Buying and Selling the Audience.”
It’s important while analyzing The History Channel’s branding efforts to notice the change in the network’s audience. Before, when the network showed strictly historical content, an older demographic was being drawn in. Now, as a younger audience is becoming interested in the channel’s content, the network has had to make changes to continue to pique their interests. Enter: shows like Ancient Aliens and Swamp People.
Lockwood, B. (2011, October 17). High ratings aside, where’s the history on History? Forbes. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com