Brand Development Smithsonian Networks


  • Smithsonian wanted to launch a TV channel to broaden exposure
  • Showtime owned 90% of the network; Smithsonian brand and assets represented 10%
  • 93% positive consumer awareness of Smithsonian brand
  • Discovery and National Geographic offer parody programming and there was little desire for distribution


  • Launch channel under separate distribution agreement from Showtime
  • Clearly align with Smithsonian brand to differentiate from competitors
  • Create original programming which mined the assets in the museums
  • Create an exciting brand; entertaining vs educational