Nick licks Saturday ayem rivals in 5th straight year

Kids' WB comes in second with Cartoon Network in third

NEW YORK — For the fifth straight year, Nick was the Saturday morning winner among kids 2-11, thanks in part to top-rated “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

Nick averaged a 4.9 rating on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, up 2% from last year in the season ended May 18. Minimal gain from last year still allowed Nick to top closest competitor Kids’ WB by 53%.

But Kids’ WB dominated the boys 6-11 demo; web took home its ninth consecutive sweep win among broadcast competish. For the season, seven of the top 10 shows for boys 6-11 across all outlets were on the Kids’ WB, including “X-Men: Evolution,” perennial “Pokemon: Johto League Champions” and “Yu-gi-oh,” which vaulted to No. 1 in the demo in its first year. Both “Pokemon” and “Yu-gi-oh” are packaged by 4Kids Entertainment, which licensed the Fox Saturday ayem block earlier this year.

Third place in kids 2-11 race went to Cartoon Network, with a 2.2 share. Increase is a 16% improvement from last year.

Broadcast nets CBS, ABC, and Fox Kids found themselves in a three-way tie for fourth place. Fox’s Saturday ayem block saw its numbers tumble 21%. CBS, which last year greatly benefited from its association with Nick, continued its rise with an 11% gain this year.

Weekdays, Nick continued to lead the season for kids 2-11 with a 2.9 rating, followed by a tie between Kids’ WB and Cartoon Net, with a 1.8 rating.