Disney Channel Finishes Top Net Kid

'Teen Beach Movie,' 'Austin & Ally' and 'Phineas & Ferb' among its most popular 2013 shows

Disney Channel, riding a strong slate of series and original pic “Teen Beach Movie,” has made it two straight years as the most popular network among kids.

In the most current Nielsen data for calendar year 2013, Disney Channel edged out rival Nickelodeon in total-day viewership among the 2-11 set while winning comfortably among kids 6-11 and tweens. Nickelodeon stabilized last year after steep declines in 2012, and finished as the narrow kids leader in total viewers.

Disney Channel, which doesn’t sell ads but accepts select sponsorships, averaged about 937,000 kids 2-11, according to Nielsen, besting the 934,000 on average that tuned in to Nickelodeon. In 2012, Disney Channel broke through to finish ahead of Nick for the first time in the 17 years the Disney net tracked numbers.

Disney Channel’s 2013 was powered by hit live-action series like “Jessie,” “Austin & Ally” and “Shake It Up,” as well as animated dynamo “Phineas and Ferb.”

It also struck big again in the original movie arena, this time with the July 19 premiere of “Teen Beach Movie” (pictured). According to Nielsen Live+7 data, in kids 2-11 (7.9 million), kids 6-11 (6.4 million) and tweens 9-14 (1.6 million), “Teen Beach” drew the second best numbers for any cable telecast in history — behind only the net’s “High School Musical 2.”

Also in total-day, Disney Channel beat Nickelodeon by a best-ever 36% in kids 6-11 (628,000 vs. 462,000) and by a big 80% in tweens 9-14 (554,000 vs. 307,000). 2013 stands as the No. 1 year in the Disney net’s history in the tween demo, and its second best in total viewers (1.73 million, vs. 1.77 million for Nickelodeon).

In primetime, Disney Channel finished on top for the ninth consecutive year in kids 2-11, the 11th straight in kids 6-11 and the 13th in a row among tweens 9-14. In total viewers, it was one of the top two cable networks (finishing a bit behind USA this time) for the eighth straight year.

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