DogTV, a television channel designed specifically to be watched by dogs, launched Monday in San Diego on Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. The channel features a variety of programming that studies have shown to be pleasing to canines.
Israeli entrepreneurs developed the channel. The target audience is dogs who have to be left at home while owners head off to work or run errands. Dogs may experience separation anxiety or may be startled by violent, loud shows on normal television shows when they are home alone. But DogTV promises to deliver dog-pleasing shows that serve to calm and relax canines at home. Many of the shows are shot from a "dog's-eye" view and use different colors that appeal primarily to canines.
One show that may air on the new network is "SpongeBob SquarePants," which researchers claim has a soothing effect on pooches. Other shows will feature soft music and frequent shots of dogs, either playing, panting, sleeping or chasing balls. No advertising will be shown on the channel, seeing as how dogs have yet to master the ability to purchase products. Because the channel is catering to dog watchers and not human viewers, developers claim they don't feel the need to use advertising as part of their programming.
Initially, the channel will be free to watch, as executives continue to tinker with the channel and figure out the best programming. In time, a $4.99 monthly fee will be charged. If the channel works for your pet, however, the monthly fee is quite small compared to the cost of a doggy day care. Some companies charge more than $30 per day to watch your dog while you complete your work day.
With dogs increasingly becoming a part of people's families, it seemed inevitable that the cuddly canines would get their own television network. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Americans spent more than $45 billion on their pets in 2009. A lot of this money is on daycare or boarding.
While the channel launched Monday, there has yet to be in any information released regarding the popularity or viewership of the channel. There is also no word on when the channel will be available in other areas.
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