Inside DirecTV’s DogTV, the First Television Channel for Dogs

For stay-at-home dogs begging for entertainment, DirectTV has come up with a treat. On August 1, the network will release DogTV on Channel 354, a new channel designed to keep dogs occupied so they don’t chew up the furniture and poop on the carpet while their owners are away.

Like a dog whistle that human ears can’t hear, these canine-friendly shows are specially made for dogs’ unique hearing and vision. And it’s backed by science: a team of veterinarians, expert dog trainers, and behaviorists spent more than four years developing and testing the type of programming that will appeal to dogs, DirecTV explained.

DogTV founder Ron Levi gave us the details.

What kinds of sounds and images do dogs like to see on TV?

Dogs love seeing other dogs on TV, as well as different animals, rapid-moving objects, animations and landscapes. They are fascinated by different sounds (squeaky, children) and can get stimulated by them. They also enjoy listening to slow classical music, which makes them sleepy and relaxed.

DirecTV is not the first company to explore entertainment options for pets. A YouTube channel created for cats has generated millions of views and has more than 6,000 subscribers to date. Were other kinds of pets included in the research?

No. All our research is always on dogs – and their reaction to the televised content. However, we do film various animals to show the dogs, ones that we learned dogs enjoy viewing.

Will there be advertising on this channel or is this a subscription-only channel?

At this point DOGTV is a subscription based channel ($4.99 a month). We do not currently have any commercials on it, because it is for dogs only. In the future we may look into different revenue models, upon creating evening shows for dog parents.

Image by Devin Koob.

RELATED: See dogs (and cats) react to DogTV in the video below.

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