3.1 million average viewers tune in

Talk about a blowout: TBS parlayed its first-ever carriage of nine baseball-playoff games into a gigantic 123% increase in primetime total viewers in October.

The 3.1 million average viewers who tuned in to TBS in primetime over the course of the month planted the network firmly in first place, beating No. 2 ESPN, which averaged 3 million. But ESPN’s numbers were off by 14% from October 2006.

The Disney Channel finished third, averaging 2.9 million in prime and harvesting the top-five entertainment programs for the month, led by its “Twitches Too” original movie and the series launch of “Wizards of Waverly Place.” It was Disney Channel’s highest-rated October ever.

The three highest-rated shows for the week were Monday night NFL games on ESPN, all of which chalked up more than 10 million viewers. Nine of TBS’ postseason baseball games finished among the 15 highest-rated programs for the month.

USA was up by 7% among total primetime viewers and wound up in fourth place for the month. By contrast, fifth-place TNT fell off by 16%.

Below the top five and running through the top 50 in primetime, the following networks grew by double digits October to October, in order of their overall finish: Court TV (up 26%, 11th place); Comedy Central (up 11%; 15th place); MTV (up 12%; 19th place); and ABC Family (up 10%; 21st place).

Also growing in double digits were BET (up 24%; 27th place); Lifetime Movie Network (up 49%; 32nd place); MSNBC (up 15%; 33rd place); and National Geographic Channel (up 17%; 37th place).

Also up were Toon Disney (up 67%; 38th place); Oxygen (up 20%; 41st place); Versus (up 27%; 45th place); CNBC (up 31%; 47th place); and WE-TV (up 13%; 49th place).

The networks between the fifth and 50th highest-rated in primetime that plunged by double digits were: FX (down 12%; 17th place); Animal Planet (down 13%; 30th place); Bravo (down 36%; 34th place); and WGN Superstation (down 12%; 40th place).

Also down by double digits were Soap Net (down 13%; 42nd place); TV Guide Network (down 19%; 48th place); and Speed Network (down 17%; 50th place).

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