'Rockin' Eve' beats out rivals

ABC was again the place to be for viewers celebrating the New Year, as “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” stomped the competish.

In its 35th year, “Rockin’ Eve,” co-hosted again by Ryan Seacrest, beat the combined midnight-hour programs on NBC, Fox and MTV, according to national Nielsens released Friday.

For the final half-hour of 2006 and the first half-hour of 2007 (11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.), “Rockin’ Eve” averaged 18.31 million viewers (including 8.39 million adults 18-49) — down a bit from the previous year but on par with the spec’s prior 10-year average.

In both total viewers and the demo, “Rockin’ Eve” outdelivered all primetime programs during the week of Dec. 25-31.

Opposite ABC’s countdown coverage, NBC averaged 7.02 million viewers (and 3.14 million adults 18-49) from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., while Fox drew 5.61 million viewers overall and 3.07 million in the demo. “MTV Goes Gold” averaged 1.41 million, including 830,000 adults 18-49.

“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” featured live performances by acts including Christina Aguilera, Rascal Flatts and Broadway’s “Jersey Boys,” as well as Clark’s traditional countdown to midnight from Times Square in New York.

Looking at this past weekend, NBC scored monster ratings Saturday night for the Seattle Seahawks’ 21-20 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in opening-round action of the NFL Playoffs.

Game registered a 17.2 household rating/28 share in Nielsen’s metered markets, up 10% from last year’s comparable wildcard game between New England and Jacksonville on ABC (15.6/26) and the highest ratings for a Saturday wildcard playoff game in four years (since Atlanta-Green Bay in January 2003, which did 18.3/29).

Reliable nationals won’t be issued until Tuesday, but the game is expected to top a 9 rating in adults 18-49 and 25 million viewers overall.

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