Networks Tout 2011 Ratings Success

The end of the 2011 television year is still days away, but several cable networks Wednesday touted significant ratings and audience increases for the year.

History is expected to post a 22% increase in prime time viewers while posting 52% increases among advertiser coveted adults 25-54 and adults 18-49 in marking its best ratings performance for the sixth year in a row, according to network officials. Leading the charge for History in 2011 were reality series such as Pawn Stars and American Pickers, which are both expected to finish among the top 10 most watched shows on cable, according to a Turner Research analysis of Nielsen data.

BET also garnered its best audience performance ever in 2011 bolstered by scripted comedy series The Game and special events like its annual BET Awards telecast. The African-American targeted network said it posted an 8% year to year primetime total viewer growth while posting record highs among adult viewers in the 18-49 and 18-54 demos. BET also reigned as the top-rated cable network among African-American adult viewers across key demos including 18-34, 18-49 and women 18-49, said network officials.

Spanish-language network Telemundo delivered its best primetime performance in network history, posting increases of 22% among total viewers and 15% among adults 18-49, the network said Wednesday. Overall, Telemundo says it will finish the year as the fastest-growing broadcast network year-over-year, beating all Spanish and English language broadcast networks with the largest percent increase in total viewers and adults 18-49 in primetime.

Comedy Central posted its highest rated year among key demographics including men 25-34, while posting ratings increases among adults 18-49 and 18-34 demos, as well as among 18-49 and 18-34 year old men, said network officials. Among total viewers, the network posted a 1% increase compared to a year ago.

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.