November Reign for ESPN

ESPN was the primetime champion in the November sweep, followed by kids’ outlet Nickelodeon in the No. 2 spot, according to Nielsen Media Research data released Wednesday.

The sports network scored big with a 2.5 primetime rating, up 4% compared with last November, according to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen data. Nick posted a 1.9 rating, a 19% gain versus last year.

ESPN’s success was fueled in part by programming like its Nov. 30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Jacksonville Jaguars National Football League game, which was the highest-rated cable show of the month, with a 7.4 rating.

And Nick got a rocket boost from new series All Grown Up, which dominated the list of top-rated shows in November, reaching a high of a 3.8 then doing a string of numbers in the 3.2-3.6 range.

After ESPN and Nick, USA Network and Turner Network Television tied for third place in primetime in November, each with a 1.8. That represented a 13% increase for USA and a 6% jump for TNT.

Disney Channel placed fifth with a 1.7 rating, up a whopping 31% from last November’s 1.3. It was followed by Cartoon Network, TBS Superstation and Lifetime Television, each of which racked up 1.5 ratings, according to Nielsen. Cartoon was up 7% from a year ago, TBS saw a 15% increase and Lifetime was down 17%.

That trio was followed in primetime by Fox News Channel, which, like all of the 24-hour news outlets, was down.

Fox News posted a 1.2 rating, a 14% drop from a year ago. Cable News Network did a 0.8, an 11% decrease. And MSNBC did a 0.3, down 25%.

While the broadcast networks are complaining about losing men 18-34, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. seems to have found some of them. In primetime in November, TNT saw its delivery of that demographic increase 12%, TBS saw a 10% gain and Cartoon saw a 3% increase in those young men.