ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” knocked its countdown telecast competition out of the water once again, but the pre-2023 event dropped significantly in both ratings and total viewers compared to the year-ago special.
On Dec. 31, the Ryan Seacrest-hosted event averaged a 4.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 13.7 million total viewers from 11:30 p.m.-12:36 a.m., according to Nielsen’s timezone-adjusted Live + Same Day data. Looking at just the midnight quarter hour, when viewers were watching the ball drop in Times Square, “Dick Clark’s” key demo rating rose to 5.3 and its audience climbed to 17.8 million viewers.
That’s down 29% in ratings and 30% in viewership from last year’s special, which drew a 5.8 and 19.6 million total viewers from 11:30 p.m. to 12:31 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2021. During the midnight quarter hour, that 2022 countdown telecast scored a 7.3 and 24.2 million total viewers, besting this year’s edition by 27% and 26%, respectively.
“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2023” aired simultaneously with the second College Football Playoff semifinal game as Ohio State faced off against Georgia on ESPN – a buzzworthy showdown that brought in an average audience of nearly 21.73 million on ESPN, 552K on ESPN2 and 159K on ESPNU.
This is not the first time a College Football Playoff game had to compete against ABC’s countdown special. The Georgia vs Michigan game aired in the early part of primetime on New Year’s Eve 2021 but the game finished just before 10 p.m. unlike this year’s game which went down to the final minute. Last year’s game averaged 16 million viewers.
Still, ABC’s latest “Dick Clark’s” special, which included performances from New Edition in New York as well as Ciara and Halle Bailey in Los Angeles, ranked as the No. 1 entertainment program on New Year’s Eve 2023 with a rating that doubles the return for NBC’s “Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party” (1.5 rating, airing 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.) and more than triples CBS’ “New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash” (1.2 rating, airing 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.).
Last year, NBC’s inaugural Miley Cyrus special had a 1.9 demo rating, while CBS’ “New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash” got a 1.1.