Disney Channel, after whittling the lead significantly over the past year, tied Nickelodeon for the first time ever with the kids 2-to-11, total-day rating during February.
Both networks finished the period, Jan. 30 through Feb. 26, with a 2.7 cable rating against the broad kids demo, and a 2.3 U.S. mark, according to Nielsen data.
However, Nickelodeon, which has held the top perch with the group for some 16 years, still scored the larger audience: tallying 946,000 of these watchers on average over the 24-hour span, versus 931,000 for Disney Channel.
Nickelodeon also stood first with viewers 2+ over the total-day span in February, averaging almost 1.75 million watchers, down 25% from 2.34 million in February 2011, compared with 1.65 million, off 8% from 1.79 million, for Disney. The networks were tied with a 0.6 total-day rating in February, according to Nielsen.
Nick attributed its delivery to solid performances from live-action series Victorious, which officials said was the top program for the month among kids 6 to 11 and tweens, animated legend SpongeBob SquarePants and preschool show Bubble Guppies.
For their part, Disney Channel executives noted that the network extended its winning skein with tweens and kids 6 to 11 in total day to 22 months and 10 months, respectively.
In 2011, Disney Channel moved past Nick with kids 6 to 11 in total day for the first time for a full year, ending Nick's 16-year record.