Discovery Communications, which owns the Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal planet, among others, has just purchased an unspecified stake in DogTV, which has been operating for the past two years as a digital television channel for dogs — providing “friendly programing scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone.”
Reasonable translation: Hey dog owners, do you carry your dog around in a baby stroller? Have we got the thing for you! From BusinessWeek:
The channel broadcasts 24/7, splitting content into three categories: relaxation (think New Age music and a slow-pan of sleeping dogs), stimulation (chirping birds and wrestling puppies) and exposure (busy intersections, babies, postal workers, and such).
In August, however, DogTV closed its distribution deal with DirecTV (DTV), moving beyond Internet-only status. At the time, DirecTV estimated that half its 20 million customers are dog owners potentially interested in the channel.
To be sure, the market is huge. Some 43.3 million U.S. households have at least one dog. The challenge for the scruffy network is apparent and sizable: how to monetize? Dogs sit outside the 18-49 year-old demographic sweet spot that marketers home in on. Also, they are dogs.
I wouldn’t worry that much about monetizing, because if there’s people crazy enough to put TV on for their dogs when they’re not home, I can almost guarantee that there’s dog owners crazy enough to watch dog TV with their dogs. I mean, the fact alone that the “Poo Trap” was a thing that mankind thought up and once existed should be all the evidence you need to that point.
Here’s a sampling of the kind of programming you’ll find on DogTV: