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Disney Nips ESPN In Primetime Ratings

Sister services Disney Channel and ESPN ranked first and second in the primetime ratings last week, with USA Network nipping at their heels.

Disney Channel averaged a 2.3 household rating from Nov. 12 through Nov. 18, a 0.1 point better than the total sports network, which had the week’s most-watched show, the Nov 12 Monday Night Football matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, which tackled 8.96 million viewers.

“Characters” network USA was another 0.1 point back with a 2.1 mark, according to a Disney ABC Cable Networks analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

TBS and TNT were fourth and fifth with a 1.5 and a 1.4, respectively, while Nick at Nite’s 1.3 average was good for the sixth spot in primetime last week.

Rounding out the top 10: Fox News Channel and MTV, both with a 1.2; and Spike TV and Hallmark Channel, each with a 1.1 average.

Finishing just a shade out of the top 10 were A&E Network, Lifetime Television, CNN, FX, Court TV and Cartoon Network, with each posting a 1.0 mark for the span.

Nickelodeon, buoyed by the Nov. 12 telefilm debut of SpongeBob Atlantis SquarePantis that attracted 8.76 million viewers, easily controlled the total-day metric with a 1.9 household average. Disney, at a 1.3, Nick at Nite, at a 1.2; and USA, ESPN and TNT, all with a 1.0 mark, completed the top five.

The premiere of the aforementioned film, which notched the network’s best mark for an original movie since July 2001, when Rugrats: All Growed Up drew 11.2 million viewers, was not the only SpongeBob winner for Nick. An encore of the movie, plus presentations of series installments accounted for 12 of the top 15 shows last week, according to the Disney ABC analysis.

Only MNF and USA’s pair of WWE Raw hours on Nov. 12 broke through the lovable sponge’s squeeze on primetime.