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Fact Patrol: USA Net Claims They're #1

It’s the Fact Patrol!

(Cue the brassy horns for the old Rat Patrol theme music.  click here to listen. scroll to #35.)



Two days ago, a press release landed in my email box from USA Network.  First off, when the email opened I was faced with this GI-NORMOUS USA Network logo - like,  not kidding here - a super-sized 144 pt. font.

At the bottom, in small letters, the network declared, "USA STILL ON  TOP."

After Disney’s record-shattering week, led by the 17.2 million stampede to High School Musical 2,  here’s what USA Network is claiming.

(I don’t know about y’all but…whatever the folks at USA Net. are smokin’, can I have some?  It must be some damn fine herb!)

USA Network:  "USA was the #1 cable network for the week, delivering more P25-54 (1.3 million), P18-49 (1.25 million), and P18-34 (547,000) than any other ad-supported network in basic cable prime. "

Multichannel’s long-time editor Tom Umstead:  "Disney Channel won last week’s basic cable prime time ratings race…. what is remarkable is that Disney’s average 5.8 million viewers for the week of Aug. 13 through Aug. 19 nearly took the weekly ratings prize for all basic and broadcast television networks…."

Disney finished third overall, just behind CBS and Fox.

Continued Umstead:  "The weekly cable race was no contest, with Disney more than doubling USA Network’s 2.8 million viewers for the week……In fact, Disney delivered the second largest prime audience for any cable network in recorded history."

Disney Channel also finished "first for the week in all major kid and female demos," according to Umstead.

It was also the highest rated Friday night in five years, cable or broadcast.

Once again parsing with the usual and absurd "ad-supported" distinction, USA Net then went as far as to claim Monk and Psych were the top Friday night telecasts and that USA Net dominated the top ten for the week.  (FYI: Disney isn’t considered "ad-supported" because the net only promotes its own content - shows, DVD’s etc.)  

USA Network: "Original programming on USA represented half of the top ten ad-supported telecasts in basic cable prime this week led by WWE, Burn Notice, Monk and Psych.  No other network placed as many telecasts in the top ten.  Monk and Psych were the top ad-supported telecasts on Friday night.   Despite competing directly against Disney’s record-breaking High School Musical 2Monk grew week-to-week to place fifth overall."

Multichannel’s Umstead:  "Disney Channel also aired three of the top five most-watched TV programs in total viewers for week, including the premiere of HSM2…. A preview of Disney’s new animated series Phineas and Ferb finished tied with NBC reality series America’s Got Talent for second place with 10.8 million viewers, while an episode of Hannah Montana finished third with 10.7 million viewer.   Among all basic cable shows, only Turner Network Television’s Aug. 13 episode of The Closer at number eight was the only non-Disney Channel distributed show to finish in the top-10 most viewed shows of the week." 

Tom has covered the biz for over 20 years.  I’m sticking with his analysis.

Word to USA Net.  Disney won, okay?  And…pass the bong!