Nick and Cartoon Network Take a Dive Despite More Kids Watching TV

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, more children between the ages of two and 11 are watching television this fall. However, the report stated that ratings for Viacom’s (NYSE:VIAB) Nickelodeon and Time Warner’s (NYSE:TWX) Cartoon Network have dropped. Viacom and TV ratings firm Nielsen are currently investigating the sudden double-digit drop in ratings. Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman says the drop since September has been “inexplicable.”

The Journal cited Nielsen data showed that the average number of children watching brodcast and cable TV is up 1.7 from last year. Nielsen’s (NYSE:NLSN) data for Nickelodeon alone shows ratings to be down 11% from one year ago September. The data shows a 17% percent drop for October and 19% drop for November.

Nielsen in a statement said, “The review process confirms that our measurement methodology, operations and related reporting processes are working as expected.”  The Media Rating Council says its work should be completed by early December, but findings will only be released to Nielsen and Viacom.

At the same time Cartoon Network ratings declined 12% from a year ago. A spokesperson from Cartoon Network cites ratings last year were boosted by a movie release. On the other hand Walt Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) Disney XD was down 1%, but averaged 149,000 in the Disney Channel was up 5.9%. The Hub, a Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) channel, was up 50%.

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