Nielsen cements WABC dominance in Gotham

Nielsen made it official: WABC is the top-rated station in the metropolitan marketplace.

The station has owned this market for the past few sweeps, garnering wins in most of the major news categories (this time nabbing of them) and getting some convincing wins in other dayparts.

According to Nielsen, finishing second to WABC in the sign-on-to-sign-off statistics was WCBS. WNBC was next. WNYW was the highest-rated independent, unseating WPIX, which led indies last time. WWOR was again last in the market.

While WABC’s strength is spread throughout the day, the station has a sizable lead in the key 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. programming block. In both Arbitron and Nielsen tallies the station generated a 13.9/25.

Nielsen puts WPIX took second place, powered largely by a block of off-network, young-skewing sitcoms. However, Arbitron puts WNBC second and WPIX falls to fourth behind WCBS.

“Live with Regis & Kathie Lee” and “Sally Jessy Raphael” (9 a.m.-11 a.m.) on WABC easily won. “I Love Lucy,” generating a 2.8/10 for WNYW, is the closest competition for “Regis’ ” 7.8/28.

WABC’s ratings dip enough for the lead to shift over to WCBS at 11 a.m. when WABC carries the network’s “Home.” Bob Barker and the “Price Is Right” pull WCBS into the lead at 11 a.m., where it stays through the end of its half-hour newscast at noon.

WWOR’s “Jenny Jones” at 1 p.m. got a healthy bump from year to year. The program went from a 3.0/9 a year ago to a 5.4/17 this sweep. Indeed, the program is good enough for second in the time slot behind WABC’s telecast of “All My Children.”

In the afternoon talk race, “Oprah” wins hands down with an 11.6/28. “Geraldo” pulled WCBS outof the basement in the time period to finish second this outing, putting “Donahue” third. “Maury Povich,” which airs at 3 p.m., an hour earlier then the others, is first in the time period beating soap fare elsewhere. “Montel Williams,” which WNYW offers at 5 p.m., is fifth in the time period.

WNYW bounces back with two episodes of “Roseanne” between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., which outpace WPIX for the second spot in the time slot. News on WABC is tops for the hour.

WABC’s package of “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” are the dominant players between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. with “Cops” on WNBC coming in second at 7 p.m. and “Married…With Children” having the honor of following “Wheel” in the ratings at 7:30 p.m.

The 10 p.m. news battle went to WNYW, with WPIX second and WWOR third. At 11 p.m., it’s WABC followed by WCBS and then WNBC.