EVP, Program Planning & Research Worldwide
National Geographic Channels
Brad Dancer — one of National Geographic Channels’ first 10 employees — is Senior Vice President of Programming Planning and Research and oversees the distribution of National Geographic Channel (NGC) and WILD content across linear and nonlinear platforms, as well as day-to-day scheduling and long-term schedule planning for both networks. He manages all consumer research across programming, program development, marketing, communications, digital media and finance.
Additionally, Dancer spearheads digital distribution, including TV Everywhere, mobile distribution, free On Demand and the network’s VOD offerings, one of the most widely distributed in cable television. Under his leadership, NGC and WILD content has grown across multiple platforms such as natgeotv.com, Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and others.
With Dancer at the helm, audience development efforts at NGC are among the most cutting-edge in cable. Utilizing biometric research efforts, NGC has studied the engagement effects of content, commercial breaks, on-screen graphics/snipes and more.
During the past year, Dancer launched new business lines for NGC, including a Café Press merchandise store and NGC Music. He built the infrastructure and content load against NGC’s TV Everywhere opportunities and worked on NGC’s first interactive TV experiences on Dish Network’s iTV platform.
Dancer launched the network’s first second-screen experience, and produced multiple games and apps, including 4.5-star rated Howling Mouse; four-star rated Puzzle Planets; a special 9/11 10-year experience on Facebook; and the network’s most successful app ever,Doomsday Preppers: The Game. He worked to kick-off of the interactive two-way TV product with Microsoft, Kinect Nat Geo TV, and develop the content for the platform.
National Geographic Channel On Demand was one of the first free ad-supported VOD platforms in cable and hit all-time highs in transactions in 2012. Dancer saw the launch of the original VOD service to NG HD On Demand, NG WILD, NG WILD HD, NG Kids and Nat Geo Mundo On Demand.
And during Dancer’s oversight, the network website, natgeotv.com, grew by more than 30 percent a year through 2011. In that time, NGC received its first Webby nomination and other awards, including multiple CTAM Mark Awards, CableFax Best of the Web, Best TV Website for two years by the Web Marketing Association and more.
Prior to joining the channel in 2000, Brad served as director of programming and research for FOX 5 WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C. In this role, Brad helped develop one of the leading FOX stations in the country, negotiating deals with the Washington Redskins and numerous syndicators. At 26, Brad was one of the youngest people ever to manage the programming and research areas of a top 10 market station.
Dancer started his career out of college as research coordinator at WKBD-TV UPN 50 in Detroit, Mich. At age 23, he became director of research for WLFL-TV FOX 22/WRDC-TV UPN 28 in Raleigh, N.C. Dancer is a former International Radio and Television Society summer fellowship recipient and worked with Katz Media in New York in programming research in 1995.
He earned his MBA from the University of Maryland University College and received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University in film studies and telecommunications with minors in anthropology, biology and supervision.
Speaking at: MASTER CLASS: How Audience Research Can Make or Break Your Pitch; Slot Machines: Masters of Scheduling