There is a new kids' kingpin in total day. For the first time in its history, Disney Channel in March marched past Nickelodeon in the measure among both kids 2 to 11 and with total viewers.
After narrowing the gap considerably over the past year and tying Nickelodeon with a 2.7 total-day cable rating (a 2.3 national mark) with the 2-to-11 set in February, Disney Channel pushed past its rival during the Nielsen month, spanning Feb. 27 through March 25. During that period, Disney notched a 2.6 total-day cable rating (2.2 national) in the demo, versus a 2.4 (2.1 national) for Nick, as the former averaged 892,000 of those watchers, compared to 846,000 for the Viacom-owned service.
Relative to total viewers in the total-day measure, the networks were tied with 0.6 marks, but Disney tallied more watchers for the first time with 1.57 million, versus 1.54 million for Nick, according to Nielsen data. As such, Disney ended Nick's 17-year run as the most-watched basic-cable network in the total-day measure.
Viacom officials, in recent months, have questioned Nielsens numbers and the apparent loss of children from the sample set.
Disney's deliveries supplement the ongoing Nielsen triumphs it has racked up with other kids' rankings. Adding March to the mix, Disney has extended its total-day winning streak among kids 6 to 11 (2.2 rating/545,000 of those viewers) and tweens 9 to 14 (1.9 rating/450,000) to 11 and 23 months, respectively. In both cases, Disney said it has oupointed Nick by double-digit percentages for a ninth consecutive month.
Shake It Up scored as TV's No. 1 series in March 2012 among kids 6 to 11 (6.4 rating/1.57 million) and tweens (5.7 rating, 1.36 million), and was the top live-action skein with kids 2 to 11 (4.5 rating, 1.85 million), according to Nielsen.
In primetime, Disney now has stood first for 85 consecutive months with kids 6 to 11 (4.2 rating, 1.04 million of those watchers in March) and 79 months with tweens (3.5 rating, 849,000).
Relative to the initial Nielsen quarterly reporting period of 2012, Disney finished as TV's top network in total day for a 12 straighth quarter among tweens (2.1 rating/496,000) and now a full year among kids 6 to 11 (2.5 rating, 604,000). It also matched Nick for the first time in total day with a 2.7 cable (2.3 national) rating among kids 2 to 11, but trailed with 945,000 to 952,000 of those viewers.
Boosted by the Jan. 6 series finale of Wizards of Waverly Place, which drew 11.3 million viewers, the most for any scripted cable show in the first quarter, based on a live +7, blended with a live + same-day measure, and a subsequent episode of original series Jessie, Disney's prime position in primetime reached 28 quarters with kids 6 to 11 (4.5 rating, 1.09 million viewers) and 51 quarters among tweens (3.7 rating/892,000).
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