ABC remains the most popular choice of Americans on New Year’s Eve, as the most recent ball-dropping, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, drew the network’s largest audience on the night in 13 years.
Nielsen data released Friday shows that “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” averaged a big 22.8 million viewers for the 11:30 p.m.-12:37 a.m. portion — 64% more viewers than the combined tallies of NBC and Fox (13.9 million).
“New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” also beat the combined NBC-Fox competition in adults 18-49 (by 45%, 9.0 million to 6.2 million).
The ABC telecast was up 3% year-to-year in total viewers to hit a 13-year high in overall audience, which is impressive since the 2012 ball-dropping saw higher than usual tune-in following primetime tributes to Dick Clark, who had passed away earlier in the year.
In both total viewers and the 18-49 demo, the 2013 edition of “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” became ABC’s top-rated telecast since the Oscars last February.
A later “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” segment (1:09-2:07 a.m.) drew an average audience of 7 million total viewers, up 9% from the previous year for this window’s largest audience since ABC began staying up even later in 2000.