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ESPN Tackles October Ratings Crown

11/02/2010 3:09 PM Eastern

Sports network ESPN scored with viewers during the month of October, beating out all basic cable networks in the monthly ratings race.

ESPN's Monday Night Football telecasts carried the sports network to an average of 3.7 million viewers during the period of Sept. 27 to Oct. 31, besting second place TBS' 3.2 million viewers, according to a Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen data. Both networks lost viewers compared to the same period last year -- ESPN was down 3% while TBS suffered a 6% audience decline.

USA Network finished third with 3 million viewers - down 7% from last year - while Disney Channel fell 11% to 2.8 million viewers.

In fifth place was Fox News, which posted a flat 2.1 million viewers, followed by History (1.6 million viewers, up 65% from last year); Nick At Nite (1.6 million, down 4%); TNT (1.6 million, up 8%), Cartoon Network (1.5 million, up 10%) and MTV (1.3 million, up 85%).

MTV's 85% audience gain was the largest among all basic cable networks, due in part to the ratings success of reality series Jersey Shore and Teen Mom.  Other cable networks generating strong increases in prime time during the month include AMC (1.1 million viewers, up 27%), TV Land (864,000, up 47%), Investigation Discovery (384,000, up 62%); Disney XD (350,000, up 34%), Nicktoons (308,000, up 53%); MTV2 (190,000, up 29%), BBC America (156,000, up 44%); DIY Network (121,000, up 44%); and Mun2 (82,000, up 71%).

Networks struggling during the month include Hallmark Channel (586,000 viewers, down 25%); VH1 (401,000, down 42%); HLN (375,000, down 27%); Style (150,000, down 29%); Speed (148,000, down 41%); and American Country (76,000, down 25%).

 Nickelodeon was tops among all basic cable networks on a 24-hour basis for the 90th consecutive month,
averaging 2.0 million viewers in October. Disney Channel finished second
with 1.7 million viewers, followed by Nick-At-Nite (1.5 million), ESPN
(1.4 million) and USA Network (1.3 million.)

 

                                                Most Watched Basic Cable Network Shows In October*
1. 10/25       NFL MNF - Giants/Cowboys                              ESPN                        17.9 million
2. 9/27         NFL MNF - Packers/Bears                                 ESPN                        17.4 million
3. 10/11       NFL MNF - Vikings/Jets                                      ESPN                        17.3 million
4. 10/4         NFL MNF - Patriots/Dolphins                             ESPN                        13.9 million
5. 10/22       MLB Playoffs - Yankees/Rangers, Gm. 6        TBS                           11.8 million
6. 10/19       MLB Playoffs - Rangers/Yankees Gm. 4         TBS                             9.8 million
7. 10/18       NFL MNF- Titans/Jaguars                                  ESPN                          9.6 million
8. 10/18       MLB Playoffs- Rangers/Yankees Gm. 3          TBS                             8.2 million
9. 10/15       MLB Playoffs - Yankees/Rangers Gm. 1         TBS                             8.1 million
10. 10/23     NBA - Heat/Celtics                                               TNT                             7.3 million
*Period of Sept. 27 to Oct. 31
Source: Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen data.

 

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