I watch a fair amount of the National Geographic Channel. One of the most striking things about it is how many of its shows appeal to guys who like gore: Built for the Kill, Caught in the Act, Australia's Most Deadly, Secret Life of Predators, and so on. Many of those shows focus on animals killing each other.
I sometimes get the feeling that if they could get away with it, the National Geographic Channel would stage the fights themselves. Think of some of the dream matches: for instance, between a polar bear and a tiger. Or between a wolverine and a hyena. Or between an alligator and an anaconda.
It's not the National Geographic Channel's fault that human nature is so ghoulish. If you doubt that, just look at the most Youtube statistics. This cobra vs. mongoose video has gotten 59,414,095 views. This video of a python vs. an alligator has garnered 42,567,476 views. Battle at Kruger, showing the herd of Cape Buffaloes rescuing a young buffalo from a pride of lions, has gotten 73,546,597 views (although this one, admittedly, has a heartwarming aspect to it).
On the other hand, this video of a water lily blossoming in fast motion has gotten 54 views.
The folks who run the National Geographic Channel are not unaware of this disparity. They have a network to run, just like any other channel scrambling for viewers. And they, like any good shopkeepers, know that the customer is always right.
I'm certainly not claiming to be above any of this. I too like my nature porn. Give me a video of a lion vs. hyenas and I promise not to switch the channel. A show about raindrops, on the other hand, will hold my attention for maybe two seconds.
The nature show audience is not unlike an ugly sports crowd: we want blood!
And the National Geographic Channel obliges.