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By a Nose So Far, Disney Channel is No. 1 Cable Channel in 2007

With a just a week left in the year, Disney Channel is No. 1 in the primetime ratings for cable in 2007, just a slip ahead of USA Network, according to Nielsen Media Research data released Thursday.

Disney Channel has averaged a 2.2 primetime rating, or 2,015,000 million households, as of Dec. 23, according to a Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen data.

In a real cliff hanger, USA so far is No. 2 with a 2.1 rating and 1,997,000 households, just 18,000 homes behind Disney Channel.

Year to date, Disney Channel has averaged 2,693,000 total viewers in primetime, a mere 15,000 ahead of USA’s 2,678,000.

But Nielsen considers the year done Dec. 30, so there is still a week of ratings data that needs to be added for the final 2007 figures.

In terms of primetime household ratings, Disney Channel is flat in 2007 versus last year, while USA is down 5%, from a 2.2 last year.

TNT so far has scored third place in primetime this year, with a 1.8 rating, down 10% from last year’s 2.0.

ESPN and TBS have tied for fourth place, with a 1.5 rating. ESPN’s primetime ratings are down 17% from last year’s 1.8, while TBS is up 7%, from a 1.4.

Lifetime Television and Fox News Channel both landed in sixth place, with a 1.3 rating. Lifetime slipped 7%, from a 1.4, while Fox News was flat versus 2006.

Hallmark Channel posted a 1.2 rating, flat compared with last year. Cartoon Network, Nick at Nite and A&E Network were in a three-way tie for ninth place, with a 1.1 rating. Cartoon Network and Nick at Nite are each down 15%, from a 1.3 last year. A&E saw a 10% gain, up from a 1.0 rating.

FX Network, Court TV, Discovery Channel, Spike TV, HGTV and Sci Fi Channel each are averaging a 1.0 primetime rating. FX has dipped 9% compared with last year’s 1.1. Court TV saw a 25% gain, from a 0.8. Discovery is up 11%, from a 0.9.

Spike TV and Sci Fi Channel are flat versus last year. And HGTV is up 11%, from a 0.9.