Fox International Channels (FIC) has, once again, proven to be a winning promotional and broadcasting vehicle for The Walking Dead franchise. The association between AMC Networks, series producer, and FIC, the exclusive owner of the first broadcast window outside the US, has seen record viewing figures in all the overseas markets served by FIC, consolidating the franchise’s status as a massive hit for the broadcaster.
This show performed was particularly strong in Europe, where the fourth season inaugurated a pan-regional programming strategy of releasing the series in multiple markets the day after the US launch. This policy not only consolidated The Walking Dead as a premiere option for pay-TV entertainment channels, but also helped to reinforce the ‘First on Fox’ strategy integral to Fox’s programming strategy.
During the entire premiere period for the show (Part 1 was shown from October to December 2013, and Part 2 from February to April 2014) The Walking Dead attracted almost 25 million viewers across 14 markets in Europe, including 9.5 million new viewers to all channels (according to Peoplemeter).
All European Fox channels showing the fourth series enjoyed a spike in viewing figures throughout the entire run, from the premiere in October 2013 until the finale in April 2014. In terms of weekly premieres, the series maintained a steady audience during Part 1, with that figure increasing during Part 2.
By country, Part 2 of the fourth series ranked as the top pay-TV programme in the UK, Spain and Germany. Furthermore, in Germany, the premiere of Part 2 was the most watched show across all pay-TV channels both in prime time slots, and throughout the whole day. Episode 12 of the series was the highest rated programme ever shown on the channel and it ranked 1st in prime time slots across all pay-TV channels.
In Spain, meanwhile, both premieres of Season 4 scored the highest figures among all pay-TV channels, and in the UK the Season 4 finale was the second-highest rated show ever on Fox. In South Africa and Norway, the premiere of the fourth season attracted 50 per cent more viewers on average than any previous season. The season finale was also the highest ranked programme ever on Fox Norway. In Serbia, the series attracted the channel’s biggest audience since its launch in October 2010.
The Walking Dead returns to Fox channels in October 2014, with the release of the fifth season of the series, again scheduled for launch the day after the American release.