USA Back Atop Primetime Ratings Pantheon in April

Disney Channel, Fox News Finish Second, Third

USA Network in April retook its familiar spot atop basic-cable networks in the monthly primetime ratings race.

The Characters Welcome channel averaged 2.5 million viewers in primetime from April 1 through April 28 to top all ad-supported networks, after finishing second in March to History, Nielsen said. USA’s April tally was 11% below its audience for April 2012.

Disney Channel finished second with 2.2 million viewers, up 9% from last year, followed by Fox News Channel (2 million viewers, up 9%), A&E Network (2 million, up 36%), TNT (1.9 million, up 18%) and History (1.9 million, down 5%).

Nickelodeon was the most-watched network on a 24-hour basis, topping (in order) Disney Channel, Adult Swim, Fox News and USA Network.

TBS continued to be the top choice among adults 18 to 49, notching its fourth consecutive ratings win among that key demo. Adult Swim finished first among adults 18 to 34, according to Nielsen.

Hallmark Movie Channel posted a 94% increase in audience compared with April 2012 to lead the industry. Other networks posting huge gains include CNN (921,000 viewers, up 80%),Fuel (52,000, up 58%), Great American Country (67,000, up 49%), Velocity (145,000, up 41%) and HLN (524,000, up 40%)

Networks struggling during the month included NBC Sports Network (515,000 viewers, down 59%), Nick Jr. (436,000, down 52%), Nicktoons (202,000, down 37%) and Current TV (24,000, down 35%).