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Finals: 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee averages 6.1 million and 1.7 adults 18-49 rating

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May 29th, 2009

here's some additional detail about the ratings for last night's 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee via ABC press release.  Please note these are not preliminary numbers, but the final national numbers between 8p-10:18pm.

(National Live + Same Day Program Ratings)

ABC's Airing of the "2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee" Grows by 5.1 Million Viewers Throughout its Telecast, as 9.9 Million Tune in to the End of the Competition

During its Final Segment, as the Winner is Determined, the "Scripps National Spelling Bee" Ranks as the No. 1 Program on TV in Viewers and All the Key Women Demos

"2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee" is Up by 1.2 Million Viewers

and by 42% in Adults 18-49 over the Prior Year

"2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee" (8:00-10:18 p.m.)

Building its viewer and young adult audience during each half-hour, against Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," ABC's broadcast of the "2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee" attracted an average audience of 6.1 million viewers during its 2-hour and 18-minute telecast. The program earned a 1.7 rating, 5 share among Adults 18-49.   Kavya Shivashankar, a 13-year-old from Olathe, Kansas, won the finals of the "2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee." She was named the 2009 Champion after correctly spelling the word "Laodicean," which is defined as "lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics."

  • Steadily gaining audience throughout its broadcast, the "National Spelling Bee" grew by 5.1 million viewers (4.8 million to 9.9 million) and 123% in Adults 18-49 (1.3/4 to 2.9/8) from its first half-hour to its final quarter-hour. During its final 18 minutes (10:00-10:18 p.m.), as the field of finalists narrowed and the winner was determined, the "Bee" ranked as the No. 1 television program in Total Viewers (9.9 million) and across the Women demographics (W18-34 - 2.5/8, W18-49 - 3.4/9 and W25-54 - 3.9/9), while standing as the No. 1 non-sports program among Adults 18-49 (2.9/8).
  • The "2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee" was up over the previous year (5/30/08) by 1.2 million viewers (6.1 million vs. 4.9 million) and by 42% in Adults 18-49 (1.7/5 to 1.2/4).

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 31% currently, from 25% 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 (National, Live + Same Day Program Ratings), 5/28/09.

 
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