ABC Family’s ‘25 Days’ Stunt Heralds Record Viewership


It looks as if Christmas came a little early for ABC Family this year.

Through the first 19 days of the network's annual “25 Days of Christmas” programming event, the stunt was pacing as the best in its 10-year history among total viewers, adults 18 to 34 and adults 18 to 49.

From Dec. 1 through Dec. 19, ABC Family averaged 2.70 million viewers from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., a 2% increase over the 2.66 million watchers through the same point last year, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Among that total: 528,000 adults 18 to 34, up 15% from 460,000 of those viewers in the year-ago span; and 1.19 million adults 18 to 49, 7% more than 1.11 million in the 2006 period.

Last year was the stunt's best to date, said ABC Family officials.

According to network officials, ABC Family during the aforementioned daypart this month trailed only sister service Disney Channel, which had 2.74 million watchers on average, among total viewers. Similarly, ABC Family ranked second to another Walt Disney Co. property, ESPN, relative to adults 18 to 49. The total sports network averaged 1.24 million of Madison Avenue’s most-coveted group over the aforementioned time frame.   

Moreover, ABC Family officials said the service was first in primetime cable with women 18 to 49 the past two weeks. It was second behind USA Network’s 2.95 million with 2.58 million viewers in primetime from Dec. 10 through Dec. 16, according to Nielsen data.

ABC Family’s performance has been buoyed by original telefilm Holiday in Handcuffs, which set a network record with 6.73 million viewers during its Dec. 9 premiere. Additionally, the network scored three of cable’s top 18 shows the week of Dec. 10-16: original movie, Snowglobe (4.38 million viewers on Dec. 15); the network premiere of The Incredibles (4.30 million on Dec. 16); and theatrical How The Grinch Stole Christmas (3.73 million on Dec. 14).