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Ratings: USA Extends Primetime Winning Streak to Eight Years

Disney Channel, A&E, FX, AMC All Rack Up Viewership Gains in 2013 1/01/2014 1:18 AM Eastern

 

USA Network, despite sustaining 8% audience erosion, captured its eighth consecutive annual primetime victory, while other top-10 cable performers, Disney Channel, A&E Network, FX and AMC, all posted viewership gains in 2013.

The “characters welcome” network averaged 2.68 million watchers from Dec. 31, 2012 to Dec. 29, 2013, according to a Disney Media Networks analysis of Nielsen data (reflecting live + 7 data until Dec. 16 and live + same-day over the balance of the period). That compares with 2.92 million viewers in Nielsen's 2012, which spanned Dec. 26, 2011 through Dec. 30, 2012.

Disney Channel placed second again, scoring with 2.44 million viewers on average, up 2% from 2.40 million in 2012. ESPN, even though it shed 6% of its audience, showed in third with 2.21 million, versus 2.34 million.

Dipping 2% to 2.11 million viewers from 2.16 million, History switched spots with TNT, finishing fourth in primetime during 2013. For its part, the "drama network" slid 5% to 2.07 million from 2.18 million to rank fifth for the year in the daypart.

Among adults 18 to 49, TBS unseated USA after a seven-year run atop the primetime charts. The "very funny" network averaged 1.05 million of these watchers in 2013, down 1% from 1.06 million, while USA lost 4% to 1.04 million of the viewers that Madison Avenue prizes most from 1.08 million in 2012. ESPN saw its 18-to-49 average decline 11% to 995,000 from 1.11 million. TNT endured a 9% decrease to 822,000 from 904,000 to finish fourth. A&E improved 5% to 805,000 from 770,000 the prior year to finish fifth. FX edged up 1% to 800,000 from 789,000 to close 2013 sixth in this key measure.

Gauged on a 24-hour basis, Nickelodeon nipped Disney Channel: 1.77 million viewers to 1.72 million. USA Network was third with 1.31 million, Adult Swim fourth at 1.28 million and TNT fifth at 1.13 million. Rounding out the top 10: Fox News Channel (1.10 million), Cartoon (1.07 million), Nick at Nite (1.06), History (978,000) and ESPN (975,000).

Back in primetime, TBS, rode the strength of The Big Bang Theory and its original slate, to move into sixth with a 3% gain to 2.01 million viewers from 1.95 million, while Fox News dropped 13% to 1.79 million watchers, without the benefit of the Presidential election cycle, from 2.06 million. Nevertheless, the news sector leader easily outdistanced rivals CNN and MSNBC.

A&E ascended 9% to 1.78 million from 1.63 million, amelioration fueled by cable’s top docuseries, Duck Dynasty. Given Phil Robertson’s controversial comments that resulted in his temporary suspension and reinstatement, A&E could be poised for a significant uptick among curiosity seekers, when the series returns with fresh installments later this month.

FX, featuring such strong original series as spy skein The Americans and the latest incarnation of its American Horror Story franchise, delivered a 4% advance to 1.47 million viewers in 2013 from 1.42 million. AMC pushed into the top 10 with 1.38 million from 1.17 million. The 18% gain came behind cable’s top entertainment series, zombie show The Walking Dead, and the the final denouement of Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) Breaking Bad saga.

Discovery Channel finished the year just outside the top 10, garnering a 5% increase to 1.36 million viewers from 1.29 million in 2012. HGTV, Scripps Interactive Services’ top network, was 12th, notching a 7% rise to 1.27 million watchers from 1.19 million.

Women’s-targeted Lifetime also posted a 7% advance to 1.27 million from 1.19 million to close out 2013 in the 13th spot, while Adult Swim edged up 3% to 1.23 million from 1.19 million, to inch ahead of ABC Family’s 1.22 million, which represented an 11% drop from 1.37 million the year before.

Rounding out the top 20:  Syfy, off 8% to 1.19 million from 1.29 million; Food Network, down 7% to 1.12 million from 1.21 million; Nick at Nite, a 25% rebound to 1.09 million from 890,000; TLC, a 2% slip to 1.06 million from 1.08 million; and Bravo, up 6% to 999,000 from 942,000.

Top 20 Cable Shows of 2013
                           
Rank    Date     Program                                Net               Day      Duration             Viewers(millions)
1    1/7/2013    BCS CHAMPIONSHIP  L          ESPN            Mon    08:25P-11:32P        26499    
2    10/13/2013    WALKING DEAD                 AMC              Sun    09:00P-10:01P        20805    
3    10/20/2013    WALKING DEAD                 AMC               Sun    09:00P-10:01P        19007    
4    11/3/2013    WALKING DEAD                 AMC                 Sun    09:00P-10:01P        18650    
5    1/7/2013    BCS  BOWL STUDIO L           ESPN               Mon    08:16P-08:25P        18284    
6    10/27/2013    WALKING DEAD                 AMC                Sun    09:00P-10:01P        17798    
7    8/14/2013    DUCK DYNASTY                 A&E                   Wed    10:00P-11:01P        17428    
8    1/7/2013    BCS CHAMPIONSHIP SUST L      ESPN           Mon    11:32P-11:48P        17243    
9    12/1/2013    WALKING DEAD                 AMC                  Sun    09:00P-10:01P        17233    
10    11/10/2013    WALKING DEAD                 AMC               Sun    09:00P-10:01P        17145    
11    1/1/2013    COLL FTBL BOWL GAME L        ESPN            Tue    05:08P-08:24P        17028    
12    11/17/2013    WALKING DEAD                 AMC                Sun    09:00P-10:01P        16947    
13    9/9/2013    NFL REGULAR SEASON      L    ESPN             Mon    06:58P-10:39P        16583    
14    11/24/2013    WALKING DEAD                 AMC                Sun    09:00P-10:01P        16340    
15    12/9/2013    NFL REGULAR SEASON      L    ESPN           Mon    08:28P-11:38P        16248    
16    11/4/2013    NFL REGULAR SEASON      L    ESPN           Mon    08:28P-11:42P        16170    
17    11/18/2013    NFL REGULAR SEASON      L    ESPN         Mon    08:26P-11:38P        15848    
17    3/31/2013    WALKING DEAD                 AMC                  Sun    09:00P-10:05P        15848    
19    12/2/2013    NFL REGULAR SEASON      L    ESPN           Mon    08:27P-11:51P        15600        
20    9/4/2013    DUCK DYNASTY                 A&E                     Wed    10:00P-10:31P        15487  

Source: Nielsen, live + 7 data from Dec. 31, 2012 through Dec. 16, 2013 and live + same-day over the balance through Dec. 29.





           

 

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