'Rockin' Eve' outdrew NBC, Fox, CNN

When it comes to ball-dropping festivities to celebrate the start of a new year, Americans continue to turn to ABC in big numbers.

Final Nielsen estimates show that ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” outdrew the combined audiences for similar programs on NBC, Fox and CNN.

“Rockin’ Eve” averaged a 6.4 rating/22 share in adults 18-49 and 17.6 million viewers overall from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. — more than twice as big a tune-in as for NBC’s “New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly” (3.0/10 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall) during roughly the same time period. Fox’s “New Year’s Eve – Times Square ’08” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.) ran third, followed by CNN’s “CNN New Year’s Eve Live” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.).

The numbers for “Rockin’ Eve” made it the week’s most-watched entertainment program, including all primetime shows. It was up 4% year-to-year in 18-49 viewers while drawing its largest adults 18-34 audience (roughly 3 million viewers) in five years.

NBC’s Daly-hosted program rose 7% in 18-49 and 8% in total viewers, marking the show’s fourth consecutive year of growth.

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