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ABC's take on the overnight ratings and prime-time inauguration coverage

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January 21st, 2009

via ABC press release:

With Continuing Inauguration Coverage into Prime, ABC Marks its

Strongest Tuesday in 8 Weeks in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49

The No. 2 TV Show Overall for the Night to “Idol,” ABC’s “The Neighborhood

Ball” Generates the Net’s Top Numbers in the 2-Hour Time Slot Since November

Overcoming an “Idol”-Fueled Episode of Fox’s “Fringe,” ABC’s Coverage of “The Neighborhood Ball” Emerges as the Most-Watched TV Show in the 9 O’clock Hour

“ABC News Special” Wins the 10 pm Hour in Key Adults and Beats NBC News’ Inauguration Special by 3.3 Million Viewers and by 32% in Adults 18-49

On the Eve of the Historical Presidential Inauguration, Disney Channel’s Monday Night Special, “Kids’ Inaugural: We Are the Future,” Reaches 7.1 Million Viewers

Tuesday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)

With its continuing inauguration coverage, ABC earned second place on Tuesday night among Total Viewers (11.5 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.4/8-tie).

· In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, ABC registered its strongest Tuesday in 8 weeks – since 11/25/08.

“The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration” (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

The No. 2 TV show of the night to Fox’s “American Idolin Total Viewers, ABC’s coverage of “The Neighborhood Ball” drew an average audience of 12.6 million viewers and earned a 3.7 rating, 9 share among Adults 18-49. President Obama hosted the first-ever “Neighborhood Ball” with scheduled musical performances by Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, JAY-Z, Alicia Keys, Shakira and Stevie Wonder. Also during the telecast, “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts conducted the exclusive first post-inauguration interview with President Obama. Qualifying as the most-watched TV program during the 9 o’clock hour and surpassing Fox’s “Idol”-driven installment of “Fringe,” ABC’s “Neighborhood Ball” overshadowed CBS’ inauguration programming (“Change and Challenge”) by 5.7 million viewers (12.6 million vs. 6.9 million) and by 117% in Adults 18-49 (3.9/9 vs. 1.8/4)

· Despite going up against all-original competition on the other nets, including Fox’s “American Idolduring the 8 o’clock hour, The Neighborhood Ball” generated ABC’s biggest audience and top Adult 18-49 rating in the 2-hour time period since November, on the night of the “Dancing with the Stars” finale (11/25/08).

“ABC News Special - A Moment in History: The Inauguration of Barack Obama” (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

The “ABC News’ Special – A Moment in History: The Inauguration of Barack Obama” took first place in the 10 o’clock hour among Adults 18-49 (2.9/7) and Adults 25-54 (3.4/8-tie). Head to head in the hour, the “ABC News Special” towered over NBC News’ inauguration special (“Dateline”) by 3.3 million viewers (9.5 million vs. 6.2 million), by 32% in Adults 18-49 (2.9/7 vs. 2.2/7) and by 31% in Adults 25-54 (3.4/8 vs. 2.6/6).

· The “ABC News Special” produced ABC’s highest numbers in the time period in 2 months among Total Viewers, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54.

Monday (1/19/09): Disney Channel’s “Kids’ Inaugural: We Are the Future” (8:00-9:35 p.m.)

On the eve of the historical Presidential Inauguration, Disney Channel's special, "Kids' Inaugural: We Are the Future," averaged 3.4 million Total Viewers, reaching 7.1 million overall, including 2.4 million unique Kid 6-11 and Tween 9-14 viewers. The concert, featuring recording artists the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Bow Wow, Billy Ray Cyrus, Keke Palmer, Usher and Raymond IV, among others, honored the families of the men and women of the American Armed Services, highlighted by themes of service to community and performances by some of the most popular young recording artists today.

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 29% currently, from 22% at the same point in 2008. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.

Source: Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 1/20/09.

 
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