Media: Double Standards - Girls, football and fights: what lads want to watch

The 16- to 34-year-old male is being targeted by TV channels with a dedicated diet. The heads of two of the most successful reveal what men want.

DAVID CLARKE - CONTROLLER, BRAVO

- What are the highlights of your schedule?

It's been a big 18 months for Bravo - we delivered two "best ever" performances for both acquired and commissioned series. The US drama Blade smashed our highest-ever rating with 420,000 and the original production Brits Behind Bars hit nearly 300,000. Coming soon are three big UK-focused factual series with big names attached, one of them an exciting, action-packed documentary series featuring one of Britain's most respected and well-known soldiers. Along with our key factual shows, we're also happy to welcome The A-Team back to Bravo in May and we look forward to a new series of Dog The Bounty Hunter later this year.

- What do young men watch on TV and is this changing at all?

Outside of big sport and movies, it's a toss-up between certain comedies, big dramas, quality factual and fast-moving actuality. Currently, Bravo is focusing on the latter two genres - we've learned that these are the most controllable and consistent deliverers of a male audience. Non-TV media has so far had a limited effect on our audience, but convergence is real and we need to keep abreast of the habits of young male entertainment, whether it's on the web, console gaming or non-linear TV viewing.

- What distinguishes your channel from the opposition?

Unlike other male-targeted channels, we spend a significant proportion of our programming budget on original productions that have attitude, character and stand out as brands in their own right. Our audience trust what they are getting with a Bravo show, and that's why we have a unique identity in a rapidly rising market that is hard to emulate.

- How do you promote your channel?

We cross-promote through the VMTV portfolio (which now extends into Freeview with Virgin 1 and the UKTV suite of channels). Bravo can reach up to 20 million viewers with a promotional message this way. Outside of that, we rely on our shows to sell themselves via great press-worthiness and put every penny on the screen.

- What are you doing to grow ad revenue?

Focusing on increasing our young male profile while maintaining and growing scale. Working closely with ids (our sales and sponsorship house) to provide an attractive, marketable and ultimately sponsorable channel environment.

- Which one show most sums up your channel?

If the perfect Bravo show was created in a lab, it would look a lot like The Real Football Factories with Danny Dyer. Both its UK and international incarnations were the dream blend of heartland male subject area, great action-actuality archive, the perfect face to front it and a great, cultural relevancy. Our concern over the past 12 months has been to apply this equation to new topics.

- How strong are your viewing figures?

Last year, we smashed our targets by 40 per cent. It'll be hard to maintain that level of growth. The power of the Bravo brand is vast - it remains the pre-eminent male multichannel brand with impressive spontaneous recall.

JOE TALBOT - DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING, NUTS TV

- What are the highlights of your schedule?

In April, we've got Bushido - Way Of The Warrior. It's where modern-day mixed martial arts originates from and makes Ultimate Fighting Championship look like Scrabble. Destination Vienna profiles the teams and potential stars of Euro 2008. Football Hurts is our critically acclaimed grass-roots football series that follows the highs and lows of AFC Wimbledon. Rubbernecker also starts featuring crashes, stunts, weird clips from the web and general male-skewed lunacy. From May and beyond, we'll be introducing an exclusive live sport.

- What do young men watch on TV and is this changing at all?

Young men want simple choices at regular times and this was a main driver for the launch of Nuts TV's brand new schedule, which sees the five-hour block split into four distinct programme genres. From 8.00pm to 9.00pm, we show Cops & Crashes; from 9.00 to 11.00pm, there's football, seven nights a week; between 11.00pm and midnight is Fights & Darts; and from midnight until 1.00am is Girls. We know that these are all genres of vast appeal to young men and it's the type of content that works well online, an area key to this demographic, too.

- What distinguishes your channel from the opposition?

We've got ostensibly British programming with British humour and sensibilities. We also don't take ourselves too seriously. It's the very reason we chose Pancho and Pritch from Dirty Sanchez to be the new voices of the channel. Having the channel split into genres also makes it easier for audiences to tune in at specific times. We then will build up loyalty from the quality and diversity of our content within those four regular time genres.

- How do you promote your channel?

As well as regular print, on-air and online pushes, we've done poster campaigns, washroom ads and beer-mats, and obviously we have a great relationship with the magazine. We've a big, targeted campaign coming up, both viral and outdoor, based around our live sport in May, and are sponsoring the England Beach Soccer team at seven major events this summer. We've also sponsored a car as part of our commission Speed Hurts, based around the British Touring Car season in The Seat Cupra Cup.

- What are you doing to grow ad revenue?

As well as traditional media such as spot ads, sponsorship and online, we are tapping into additional consumer and business revenue streams. On the consumer front, we're running reverse auctions. We're also offering advertisers the chance to closely associate themselves with content, such as Shed Sports being branded WKD Shed Sports.

- Which one show most sums up your channel?

Football Hurts, made by Giant TV. It consistently reaches that key male 16- to 34-year-old demographic. We secured exclusive access to AFC Wimbledon, and are currently following its struggle to regain league status. It's British, it's happening now and it painfully brings into sharp focus the question every man asks himself on a regular basis: "Why does football hurt so much?"

- How strong are your viewing figures?

With commissions like Football Hurts, viewing figures are heading in the right direction. It generates a fourfold increase compared with its preceding programme and double what the slot was averaging before its launch.

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