RATINGS: In Nation’s Top Market, ‘GH’ Dominates Time Period in Households and Women 25-54 Rating

General Hospital, WABC-TV, Channel 7
"General Hospital"

On Tuesday, December 31, 2013, Disney/ABC touted its reigning champ WABC-TV as New York’s most watched station in 2013 and the number one station in the country. While highlighting the success of “Live with Kelly and Michael,” November’s “The ING New York City Marathon,” “The View,” “The Chew,” its Eyewitness News broadcasts, and ABC’s strong primetime schedule, the company neglected to note the success of its sole remaining daytime soap opera, “General Hospital,” on the station.

According to a representative for WABC-TV, however, “GH” is New York’s most watched series during the hours of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM in the key Women 25-54 sales demo, and ranked a dominant #1 in its time period in households and Women 25-54 during calendar year 2013, according to Nielsen Media Research ratings data. The rep also notes to Soap Opera Network exclusively that the series is one of the strongest programs in the number one television market overall.

Full WABC-TV press release (excluding “GH” ratings data)

IN 2013
Channel 7 is the Number One Station in the Country

NEW YORK, December 31, 2013 – WABC-TV, the ABC owned television station in New York, continues to be the most watched station in the nation’s largest media market. Finishing 2013 with a 3.3 rating/9 share in DMA Households, Monday-Sunday Sign-On to Sign-Off, WABC-TV grows 6% over last year and continues its run of dominance in the Tri-State area. With an average quarter-hour audience of 296,000 viewers all year long, Channel 7 attracts a larger audience than any other television station in the nation.

It was a busy year for WABC-TV as it hosted several major local events, began new community partnerships, saw increased viewership on many of its signature programs, and launched innovative new digital platforms.

WABC-TV-produced “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” had a terrific 2013, the first full calendar year with Michael Strahan as the show’s co-host with Kelly Ripa. The program dominated its time period, winning New York by a +50% advantage in DMA Households and by +43% among Women 25-54, and was also up +13% year-to-year among DMA Households. Nationally, “LIVE” now stands as the second most- watched syndicated talk show, ahead of “Ellen” and behind only “Dr. Phil,” both of which air in more heavily-viewed afternoon time periods.

The ING New York City Marathon, New York’s biggest sporting event, returned to Channel 7 after a 20-year absence. In a partnership with ESPN, WABC-TV made the 43rd running of the world’s biggest footrace available to more viewers than ever before. On November 3, the marathon had its highest ratings of recent years as Channel 7’s coverage reached 1.7 million people over the air and averaged 582,000 viewers per quarter-hour. The marathon had 145,000 live streams on 7online and marathon content was accessed in 197 different countries and territories, making it a truly global success. Channel 7’s marathon pre-race coverage averaged an outstanding 342,000 viewers, and its “Countdown to the Starting Line” special the night before won its time period handily with 259,000 viewers. Channel 7 kicked off its marathon coverage by airing the Opening Ceremony on the Friday night before the marathon and again won its time period. WABC-TV’s coverage also reached tens of thousands of people via social media, making its coverage of the marathon a success by every measure.

Channel 7 was heavily involved in the year’s many local political campaigns, hosting the Democratic primary debates for New York City comptroller and mayoral candidates, the Republican mayoral debate, a general election mayoral debate between Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota, and a New Jersey senatorial debate between Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan. Every debate carried by WABC-TV won its time period with more than 100,000 viewers each time.

In May, Channel 7 launched the WATCH ABC authenticated service, which allows viewers access to 24/7 live viewing of WABC-TV on mobile devices.  Currently available to subscribers of Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Charter, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse, it’s the first and only authenticated linear broadcasting service that also offers many on-demand options.  WATCH ABC allows viewers more access to their favorite programs at home and on the go.

Source: NY Nielsen LPM Live+SD Overnights 1/1/13-12/29/13. 1/1/12-12/31/12.

2013 was also another eventful year for WABC-TV’s signature “Eyewitness News” franchise, which became more dominant as the New York market’s favorite choice for news. Channel 7 provided viewers with thorough coverage of the year’s biggest stories, whether local, national or international. The “Eyewitness News” team helped viewers through every storm, covered the area’s recovery on the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, and was first on the scene of the Thanksgiving weekend commuter train derailment. “Eyewitness News” also sent reporters to Washington, D.C. to cover the presidential inauguration, to Boston in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, and to the Vatican for the election of Pope Francis. Its regular segment “7 On Your Side” with Nina Pineda had an outstanding year, recovering more than $1 million for viewers with consumer-related issues.

“Eyewitness News This Morning” with Lori Stokes, Ken Rosato and Bill Evans led all stations in DMA Households and total viewers from 4:30am-7:00am, continuing to be Tri-State residents’ main source for news and information as they begin their weekdays. The local morning news programs grew +33% year-to-year among DMA Households and boasted +38% growth among Adults 25-54.

“Eyewitness News at Noon” with Lori Stokes, Ken Rosato and Bill Evans holds a 52% lead for the year over its closest competition in DMA Households. Among key Women 25-54, it has as many viewers as its competitors combined.

“Eyewitness News First at 4” with Liz Cho, David Novarro and Lee Goldberg, is the market’s only 4:00pm newscast, a year which saw it display year-to-year DMA Household growth. The show also matches up well with many of its 5:00pm and 6:00pm local news competitors among Adults 25-54.

WABC-TV’s “Eyewitness News at 5” with Diana Williams, Sade Baderinwa and Lee Goldberg displays year-to-year growth while winning its time period among DMA Households, and holds a +30% advantage among Adults 25-54. The weekday edition of “Eyewitness News at 6” with Bill Ritter, Liz Cho, Lee Goldberg and Rob Powers, also saw year-to-year growth with a Household rating that is 65% higher than that of its closest competitor and also holds a 70% advantage among Adults 25-54.

The weeknight edition of “Eyewitness News at 11” featuring Bill Ritter, Sade Baderinwa, Lee Goldberg and Rob Powers completes the total victory for “Eyewitness News” in 2013. WABC-TV wins the late news race among DMA Households with a +27% advantage for the year and is #1 among Adults 25-54 with a strong +59% advantage. “Eyewitness News at 11” increased its viewership over last year, boasting growth of +4% among DMA Households and +13% among Adults 25-54.

“Eyewitness News” was equally strong on weekends throughout the calendar year. “Eyewitness News This Morning” with Michelle Charlesworth, Phil Lipof, and Amy Freeze, collectively ranked #1 in DMA Households while offering more local weekend morning news than any other station in the market. On weekend nights, “Eyewitness News at 11,” featuring Joe Torres, Sandra Bookman, Jeff Smith and Laura Behnke, was #1 in DMA Households and Adults 25-54. “Eyewitness News” was the first in the market to expand its weekend night telecasts to one hour, and routinely wins its extended time period against competing newscasts.

ABC News also continues to perform well on Channel 7.  ABC’s “Good Morning America” continues to be the top choice in the time period for Tri-State area viewers. The program ranked #1 for the year among DMA Households, Adults 25-54 and Women 25-54, with year-to-year growth of +35% among DMA Households, +27% among Adults 25-54 and +22% among Women 25-54. In the evening, ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” holds a 58% lead in DMA Households and a 21% lead among Adults 25-54.

Source: NY Nielsen LPM Live+SD Overnights 1/1/13-12/29/13; 1/1/12-12/31/12.

In Late Fringe, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” moved to the 11:35pm time period at the start of the year and immediately became #1 in its time period among DMA Households and Adults 25-54 while skewing younger than its broadcast competitors. ABC’s veteran “Nightline” moved to 12:35am and continued its long run of success by winning its new time period among DMA Households and Adults 25-54.

All year long, ABC’s “The View” handily wins its time period in Households and Women 25-54. ABC’s “The Chew” airs weekdays at 1:00pm and wins its time period for the year among DMA Households.

WABC-TV’s syndicated programs “Millionaire,” “Jeopardy,” and “Wheel of Fortune” continue to be the #1 programs in their respective time periods in DMA Households and most key demographics, including Adults and Women 25-54. From 7:00pm-8:00pm, “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” maintain a 75% advantage over their closest competitors among Adults 25-54.

In Primetime, ABC’s “Scandal” shot to the top of the ratings charts this year to partner with Emmy Award winning Best Comedy veteran “Modern Family” to form a solid base of ABC Prime programs. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” debuted in the fall and provided a strong vehicle for male and younger viewers. “The Middle”,  “Suburgatory,”  “Once Upon a Time,” “Revenge” and “Shark Tank” continue to perform well for the network, joining longtime hits “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Castle,” and “Dancing with the Stars.”

WABC-TV also continued to maintain its strong ties to the community with its airing of October’s annual Columbus Day Parade, last spring’s New York City Half-Marathon, and campaigns for Operation 7 Save-A-Life for fire safety, Above & Beyond for hometown heroes, Breast Cancer Awareness, Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and other campaigns throughout the year. Channel 7 also had success with its local specials, including Secrets of Grand Central, which aired in the spring and delivered strong numbers to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the New York City landmark. Channel 7 also featured Connected 4 Life about organ donation, two editions of Broadway Backstage and its highly rated annual Holiday Special that attracted more than 400,000 viewers.

WABC-TV’s website, 7online, saw +28% year-to-year growth in total page views and +58% among unique users for the year. It was a key source of information for people in the Tri-State area and around the world during the ING New York City Marathon and for many of the area’s other big stories that included local political campaigns, the Thanksgiving Weekend commuter train derailment, weather events and many others. 7online’s mobile arm delivered an additional 16 million page views.

All of WABC-TV’s mobile properties continued to impress as well. The station’s new Eyewitness News app was introduced in the spring and delivered more than 85 million page views across multiple platforms, including the iPhone, Android, iPad and iPod Touch. WABC-TV also introduced a Weather app in 2013 that has garnered more than 12 million pages views since its debut. And the Eyewitness News Alarm App, introduced in 2012, enjoyed a successful first full year with more than 31 million page views across multiple mobile platforms. The three apps have combined for more than 600,000 downloads since their respective introductions.

Channel 7’s online presence continues to thrive with social media. For the second straight year, the main Eyewitness News Facebook page more than doubled its number of Likes from the previous year. Engagement was also strong, topped by an April post remembering the young victims of the Boston Marathon bombing that reached 2.3 million people. Twitter also saw solid growth, with the main Eyewitness News feed seeing a 69% increase in followers from the start of the year. The Eyewitness News Facebook talent pages, Twitter and Instagram feeds continue to have consistent engagement with thousands of viewers on a daily basis.

Source: NY Nielsen LPM Live+SD Overnights 1/1/13-12/29/13; 1/1/12-12/31/12; Omniture; Facebook Insights; Twitter.

WABC-TV, Channel 7, is the ABC, Inc. owned television station in New York City.