We all know cats rule the Internet, but will dogs rule TV? It's a theory we're interested in seeing play out after Discovery Communications' announced its plans to promote a channel exclusively targeted to our canine friends. The media group — which owns Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet – is developing DogTV, a subscription-only online and DirectTV network that broadcasts 24/7 pooch-oriented programming.
This isn't quite like the Puppy Bowl, mind you. DogTV is literally for dogs, not people. As of now, the experimental network offers three categories of programming: "relaxation" (hypnotic puppy footage), "stimulation" (dogs, and other animals, in motion), and "exposure" (people, machines, generally flurries of activity). Similar networks already exist for babies, and a like-minded canine concept even emerged as early as 1997, in the form of a little-known network called The Puppy Channel. Can DogTV transcend cult canine status? It remains to be seen.
For now, Dan Fox, Discovery’s senior vice president of corporate development, calls DogTV a “a natural fit" for what his network specializes in: interest-first, personality-second TV. As BusinessWeek reports, 43.3 million households in the United States have at least one dog — in other words, that's huge viewing potential, if we can get our furry friends to sit still long enough to bark at a screen full of chirping baby birds. Though we're not sure this demographic is all that interesting to advertisers, as its members typically don't carry wallets.