ESPN Outlasts TBS to Win October

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ESPN’s Monday Night Football telecasts
helped the sports network barely edge out TBS and its
post-season baseball coverage for most-watched basiccable
network honors in October.

ESPN averaged 3 million viewers in primetome during
the period of Sept. 26 to Oct. 30, besting TBS’s 2.8 million
viewers, according to a Disney-
ABC Television Group
analysis of Nielsen data. Both
networks reported declines
from the same period last
year, with ESPN down 16%
and TBS down 7%.

USA Network finished third
with 2.7 million viewers, down 2% from October 2010,
while Disney Channel finished fourth, up 4% to 2.6 million

Fox News Channel (1.6 million viewers, down 14%); FX
(1.6 million, up 40%); History (1.6 million, down 5%); A&E
Network (1.3 million, up 5%); Syfy (1.2 million, down 2%)
and TNT (1.2 million, down
22%) rounded out the top 10.

On a 24-hour basis, Nickelodeon’s
year-to-year viewership
dropped 15% to 1.7
million viewers, but that figure
was enough for Nick to
top all basic cable networks.
Disney Channel finished with
3% more viewers in October,
averaging 1.6 million watchers
to finish second ahead
of USA Network, which was
virtually flat at 1.3 million
viewers. ESPN (1.2 million
viewers, down 9%) and TBS
(1.2 million, down 12%) finished
fourth and fifth, respectively.

ESPN Monday Night Football
games and TBS’s playoff
baseball coverage represented
eight of the top 10 mostwatched
shows during the
month, according to Nielsen.
AMC’s second-season premiere
of The Walking Dead
and an episode of Jersey Shore
were the only two entertainment-
based shows to break
into the top 10.