Nick licks Saturday ayem rivals in 5th straight year

'SpongeBob' helps cabler nab the pants

Nickelodeon found itself on the top of the heap again as the kids broadcast season came to a close May 18.

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. 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 only 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.

Three-way tie

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.