via press release:
“Downton Abbey, Season 3” on MASTERPIECE CLASSIC
Rates Second on Super Bowl Sunday
– 4.4 Household Rating Up 69% from Season 2 Super Bowl Sunday;
Season 3 Premiere Highest-Rated Drama in PBS History –
ARLINGTON, VA; February 4, 2013 — PBS and WGBH announced today that“Downton Abbey, Season 3” on MASTERPIECE CLASSIC rated second only to the Super Bowl on February 3 (Nielsen Overnights data, 4.4 household rating). The drama, a Carnival/MASTERPIECE co-production, has seen a strong audience all season; the average audience for Season 3’s first five episodes is 72% above the first five episodes of Season 2. Last night’s episode averaged 6.6 million viewers (Nielsen Fast National data).
The season premiere on January 6 earned a 7.4 national (Live +7) household rating and averaged 11.1 million viewers — growing from a 5.1 household rating and average audience of 7.9 million viewers as first reported in the Fast National overnight ratings — making it the top-rated PBS drama of all time.
These record-breaking numbers carry over into the digital space. On Sunday, January 6, a record-breaking number of unique visitors went to the MASTERPIECE site, and January 2013 vs. January 2012 saw a 53% increase in unique visitors overall, and a 174% increase in mobile visits. Additionally, in the month of January there were more than 6.3 million streams of all “Downton Abbey” content on PBS video platforms, which is 35% higher than January 2012.
Conversations centering on the official #DowntonPBS hashtag have seen consistently strong numbers all season, and users’ engagement was highlighted during the Super Bowl blackout. One @PBS tweet about Downton Abbey was one of the most talked about tweets of the evening, generating nearly 4,500 re-tweets and favorites, and mentions in Super Bowl coverage in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and ABC News.
Season 3 sales have shined across a number of retailers, including shoppbs.org(the #1 best-seller since it became available for pre-order in September 2012),iTunes (the #1 show since the January 7 launch), and Amazon Instant Video (the #1 show since the January 7 launch). Amazon recently announced that its Prime Instant Video will become the exclusive subscription streaming home for “Downton Abbey”later this year. Seasons 1 & 2 rank as the most watched TV seasons on the service.
Season 3 concludes with a 90-minute finale on February 17.
“Downton Abbey” is a Carnival/MASTERPIECE Co-Production. Carnival is a division of NBCUniversal.
MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE. Funding for the series is provided by Viking River Cruises and Ralph Lauren Corporation with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series’ future.
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