April Showers Ratings on USA Network

USA Network won its third
consecutive monthly primetime ratings
crown of 2011, drawing more
viewers than all basic-cable networks
during the month of April.

USA rode strong performances
from its weekly WWE Monday
Night Raw
series to an average of
2.9 million viewers during the period
of March 28 to April 24, although
that audience take was
down 5% compared to April 2010,
according to a Disney-ABC Television
Group analysis of Nielsen
data. Disney Channel placed second,
with a 2.5 million viewer mark, up 9% from the same
period last year.

TNT’s coverage of the National Basketball Association Playoffs helped the drama network score an 8% audience gain to
finish in third place with 2.2 million viewers, followed by History,
which posted a 20% gain to 2.2 million viewers on the
strength of its popular series Pawn Stars. Fox News Channel
finished in fifth with 1.8 million viewers, down 3%.

ESPN (1.8 million viewers, up 4%); Nick at Nite (1.5 million,
down 14%); A&E Network (1.4 million, up 3%); TBS (1.4 million,
down 21%); and AMC (1.2 million, up 36%) rounded out
the top 10.

Nat Geo Wild posted a whopping 277% audience increase
over the year since its initial launch. The animal-and-wildlifethemed
service averaged 117,000 viewers in primetime during
the month of April, up from just 31,000 viewers a year ago,
according to Nielsen.

Other networks
posting significant
year-to-year primetime
viewer growth
included Hall-mark Movie Channel
(165,000 viewers,
up 72%); Investigation Discover y
(516,000 viewers, up
65%); MLB Network
(141,000, up 44%);
mun2 (71,000, up
42%); AMC (1.2 million,
up 36%); Military
Channel (178,000, up 35%); and Travel Channel
(531,000, up 20%).

Networks struggling in April include NFL Network (55,000,
down 58%); HLN (305,000, down 41%); Style (127,000, down
32%); TeenNick (142,000, down 31%); G4 (121,000, down 29%);
and Lifetime Movie Network (539,000, down 23%).

Nickelodeon continued its ratings dominance on a 24-
hour basis, averaging 2.2 million viewers to secure its fourth
consecutive monthly ratings win in 2011. Disney Channel
(1.6 million viewers) finished second followed by Nick at
Nite (1.4 million); USA (1.3 million) and TNT (1.3 million).

Shows from Nickelodeon and History generated eight
of the top 10 most-watched shows. Nick’s April 9 episode
of tween-targeted series iCarly and its Kids’ Choice
took the top two spots for the month, generating
7.3 million and 7.2 million watchers respectively. An
April 9 episode of Nick’s Victorious finished in 10th place
with 6.1 million viewers.

Four episodes of History’s Pawn Stars held down spots
three through six, according to Nielsen. An April 24 Los Angeles
Lakers-New Orleans Hornets NBA playoff game on TNT
and a March 28 WWE Monday Night Raw event finished in
seventh and eighth place respectively.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.