National Geographic Channel says interactive activity for its Sunday night programs has lifted time spent with the network.
Viewing time has been boosted by 25% over the last six months for its Sunday night prime-time shows: "Wicked Tuna, "Alaska State Troopers," and "Doomsday Preppers" as well as top-rated specials such as "SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden" and "Space Dive."
Some of the interactive activities include submitting opinions for polls, testing program knowledge with trivia and searching upcoming shows. Nat Geo's "Sunday Night Interactive" test is with Dish Network. Dish has some 15 million subscribers.
Brad Dancer, senior vice president audience and business development at National Geographic Channels, says this has been good result for its programming: "Sunday night is our biggest night." Dancer would not reveal viewing data, but said that the average Nat Geo viewer on Dish averages 38 to 40 minutes a night. The interactive test improved those numbers by 25%.
While many efforts to engage traditional TV viewers -- including second-screen apps -- have been growing, Peter Low, CEO of Ensequence, the TV interactive company that put together the effort for National Geographic Channel, says: "This engages consumers where they are; they press a select button on their remote."
Dancer says: "Everyone has a different way of interactivity with the TV. Nat Geo viewers are very information-based." The network will start another interactive push on Monday night with returning show "Brain Games."
Low says other networks in tests with Ensequence have seen similar results. History showed 18% improved viewing with Dish Network; Spike's "Video Game Awards" witnessed a 20% rise, which enlisted the services of both Dish and DirecTV.
Ensequence has also worked with NBCUniversal, MTV Networks, Showtime Networks, Turner Broadcasting, and HBO, among others. Its interactive services work with cable, satellite, telco TV distributors and connected media devices.