Discovery network criticised for programme on prehistoric shark
NEW YORK (AP) - A Discovery network special that speculated about whether a giant prehistoric shark could still exist has drawn a passionate response from viewers and starkly raised the question about the worth of big ratings.
The programne - "Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives" - opened Discovery's annual "Shark Week" during the weekend. With an estimated 4.8 million viewers, it had the largest audience of any show in the 26 years that Discovery has made "Shark Week" a part of its summer programming, the Nielsen company said.
Yet it drew a heated response online from viewers who said airing a "mockumentary" compromises the network's reputation.
"It's the ultimate 'Shark Week' fantasy," said Mr Michael Sorensen, Discovery's senior director of programming. "The stories have been out there for years, and with 95 per cent of the ocean unexplored, who really knows?"