'11 Ratings

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Not surprisingly, myriad nets scored record-setting years in ’11, including History, ABC Family and A&E. Notching its best year ever for the 6th consecutive year, History was the only top-5 net to achieve growth among 18-49s and 25-54s over the past 12 months, and ranked 4th among 25-54s, 5th among 18-49s and 2nd among men 18-49 and men 25-54. Overall, History ranked 5th in ’11 prime with a 1.5/1.45mln, and ABC Family?powered by its most-watched year in history in prime among P2+, 18-34s, 18-49s and 12-34s?tied for 10th with 1.0/1.01mln. A&E (1.2/1.18mln) took 7th owing to its best year ever among P2+, 18-49s and 25-54s. ESPN (1.7/1.74mln) ranked 3rd in prime, powered yet again by cable’s most-watched series, MNF. The franchise averaged a 9.7 rating and 13.25mln total viewers, the latter metric marked by a 9.6% YOY decline on some less-than-compelling matchups. The Sept 26 Redskins-Cowboys tilt led all the games with 17.10mln P2+. USA won the year in prime with a 2.4/2.39mln, while Disney Channel (1.9/1.89mln) took 2nd, TNT (1.7/1.68mln) tied for 3rd and Fox News (1.5/1.50mln) tied for 5th. History (+21%) and FX (+20%) led the larger nets in YOY gains in total viewership, while the list of other impressive growth engines includes Nat Geo Wild (+52%), Investigation Discovery (+48%), Planet Green (+46%) and Hallmark Movie Channel (+45%). Notable decliners include NBA TV (-40%), Nick at Nite (-22%) and Teen Nick (-21%). After an extremely trying 4Q, Nickelodeon managed to shed just 6% in total day for the year. Nielsen‘s ’11 telecast rankers weren’t available by deadline, although Turner‘s research of Nielsen data shows ESPN swept the top 10 annual telecast list, led by the BCS title game on Jan 10 (27.42mln total viewers). Only MTV‘s “VMAs” (13.49mln) and TNT’s pro hoops playoff coverage of 2 Heat-Bulls games (11.14mln, 10.92mln) prevented a clean sweep by ESPN of the ’11 cable telecast top 25 among total viewers. MTV’s “Jersey Shore” paced all cable originals in total viewers with 9.29mln, according to Turner, ahead of AMC‘s “The Walking Dead” (8.87mln), TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles” (8.14mln) and “The Closer” (8.13mln) and History’s “Pawn Stars” (7.02mln). USA earned 8 entries on the top 20 list, led by “Royal Pains” (6.56mln). Jersey and Dead also ranked 1-2 among 18-49 delivery and swapped spots among 25-54s. The respective category top 5s were completed by FX’s “Sons of Anarchy,” Pawn and BET‘s “The Game,” and Pawn, TNT’s “Falling Skies” and Anarchy. For the year, according to Turner, cable pushed its HH share versus broadcast to 67%, up from 66% a year ago, and to approx 68% from 65% among 18-49s. Fox was the only broadcaster to achieve gains in ’11 in HH rating (+4%) and among 18-49s (+3%), while NBC was the clear laggard in both metrics (-13%).

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