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Disney Channel Slows Down USA's Summer Ratings Run

USA Network hit a ratings speed bump last week on its dominant run of the summer ratings charts as Disney Channel last week tied the "Characters Welcome" network for top honors.
Disney, on the strength of the season four premiere of hit show Hannah Montana, averaged 2.7 million viewers, finishing in a first place tie with USA during the week of July 5 to July 11, according to an Disney-ABC TV analysis of Nielsen data. USA had won the previous five summer 2010 weekly ratings races.
TNT finished third for the week with 2.4 million viewers followed by History and ABC Family Channel, with both networks averaging 1.8 million watchers. Nick-At-Nite, Fox News and ESPN (all tied with 1.7 million viewers), A&E (1.5 million viewers) and Syfy (1.4 million) rounded out the top 10.
NBA star LeBron James' much ballyhooed July 8 The Decision special on ESPN drew nearly 10 million viewers to finish as the most watched show during the week among all key audience demos, according to Turner Research.

Top 10 Most Watched Shows For The Week*:
Date       Show                                       Network                            Viewers
7/8/10      The Decision                        ESPN                                9.9 million
7/5/10      Pawn Stars                          History                                6.3 million
7/5/10       Pawn Stars                          History                               6.1 million
7/11/10    Hannah Montana Forever  Disney                                5.7 million
7/6/10     Deadliest Catch                  Discovery                            5.2 million
7/5/10      Spongebob Squarepants Nickelodeon                      5.1 million
7/6/10      WWE Entertainment           USA                                      5.1 million
7/11/10    Good Luck Charlie              Disney                                 5.0 million
7/5/10      American Pickers                History                                 5.0 million
7/10/10   Sprint Cup Racing             TNT                                     4.6 million
*Week of July 5 to July 11
Source: Source: Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen data.

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.