Cable TV

Nickelodeon is No 1 cable network in the US for 11th year

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MUMBAI: Extending its run at the number-one top spot into its eleventh year in the US, Nickelodeon led basic cable as the top-rated network within the total programming day for the just-completed first quarter of 2006 among total viewers and across all kids' demos, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In addition, the network grew double digits in its multiple media offerings, including Nick.com and Nickjr.com from year-to-year, and excelled on its broadband, online gaming and video- on-demand platforms.

Among the network's primary demo of kids 2-11, the network posted a 4.0/1.3 million K2-11, up +5 per cent over last quarter and +90 per cent ahead of Cartoon Network (2.1/657,000 K2-11) and +48 per cent ahead of Disney Channel (2.7/857,000 K2- 11).

With preschoolers, the network also ranked first, averaging a 4.8/597,000 K2-5, up +9 per cent over last quarter, ahead of Cartoon Network by +140 per cent (2.0/244,000 K2-5) and +66 per cent versus Disney Channel (2.9/350,000 K2-5). And with tweens 9-14, Nickelodeon remained flat for the year, earning a 2.5/514,000 T9-14, and beating its competition by double digits.

Contributing to the Nickelodeon's quarter-to-quarter growth, were several large events and series' launches. The Wonder Pets, the newest series on the Nick Jr. block, has averaged a 7.8 rating with kids 2-5, and is now performing well along with top preschool programs Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!

In addition, the first-ever Drake and Josh made-for-TV movie event earned big numbers, delivering more tweens than ABC's Rose Bowl (2.1 million tween 9-14 viewers, +34 per cent higher in delivery than the Rose Bowl), and 5.4 million total viewers (P2+). SpongeBob SquarePants continues to be a top performer, drawing an average of more than 8.6 million total viewers (P2+) for the "Lost In Time" telecast, the highest-rated SpongeBob program with kids 2-11 ever.

As Nickelodeon continues to build its leadership in new and emerging media platforms, it has increased usership on multiple media platforms in the kids' space, particularly with its broadband platforms, TurboNick and Nick Jr. Video, and its online sites, Nick.com and Nickjr.com.

TurboNick, Nickelodeon's broadband video service on Nick.com, has had more than 30 million content streams, an increase of +29 per cent from fourth quarter 2005. It is heading towards the 100th million stream since its July 2005 launch.

Nick Jr. Video, Nick Jr.'s broadband video service on Nickjr.com, garnered more than 28 million content streams in first quarter 2006.

For the quarter, Nick.com has had more than 32 million unique visitors, which is up +26 per cent increase versus fourth quarter and +44 per cent versus first quarter 2005, making 2006 the best year so far for Nick.com.

Nick.com has also had more than 228 million game plays on the site this quarter. This is partially attributed to the "New Game of the Week," where Nick.com launches a brand new game on the site every Friday. SpongeBob SquarePants Dunces and Dragons alone racked up more than 15 million game plays since first quarter.

Nickjr.com has had more than 14 million unique users this quarter, a +14 per cent increase from fourth quarter 2005, and +41 per cent increase from first quarter 2005, also a best-ever quarter for Nickjr.com.

The network also continues to maintain its leadership position in Video-on-Demand. Nick programming was held the top position for the month in terms of all kid offerings on Comcast (roughly 8.9 per cent of all Comcast set top boxes viewed Nick programming). Nickelodeon garnered 5.7 million Nick VOD views in February 2006, double the number of views versus last year's like time period.

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