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Shark Week has often been referred to as Discovery Channel’s “Superbowl.” First started in 1988 and now in its 32nd edition, Shark Week is for Discovery as Christmas is to Hallmark and brings in millions of viewers and added revenue. According to the Standard Media Index, the event raked in $22.3 million in advertising revenue last year, up from $18.2 million in 2018. Though Shark Week is touted as animal activism, scientists are skeptical. Criticism against Discovery’s “fear-mongering” style of programming for shark specials have been mounting each year and the network has yet to shake it off.
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