Friday, November 11, 2011

'Inexplicable' Ratings Drop Hits Nickelodeon USA

From C21 Media:
'Inexplicable' ratings drop hits Nick

Nickelodeon has questioned a massive dip in its flagship US channel's ratings, which parent Viacom called "inexplicable" and is now investigating.

Nick and television ratings provider Nielsen are looking into a sudden drop of between 15% and 20% in viewers in September, said Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.

Dauman told analysts the drop was an "anomaly" and an "aberration" given the usual stability of Nick's ratings. The fall affected Viacom's Q4 2011 ad revenues, announced yesterday, though revenues and profit were still up year-on-year.

Dauman said the Media Rating Council has been brought in as independent data has shown "meaningfully different" viewing trends to Nielsen's and added Nick has been US cable's top rated channel for 66 quarters running.

The news comes in a busy week for Nick, which has unveiled a programming block aimed at mothers. Nickmom [also known as "Nick Mom"] will launch in Q4 2012 on Nick Jr, airing nightly primetime content from the likes of Eyeworks USA (The Biggest Loser), Mad Cow and Emmy-winning writer Hugh Fink.

The block is a response to research showing Nick channels had become key destinations for young tech-savvy mums, Nick said in promotional material.

In further news, Nick's executive senior VP for international programme sales Steve Grieder has left the firm, a Viacom International Media Networks spokeswoman confirmed today.

Grieder left three weeks ago with no job to go to, but the rep stressed his departure was amicable, citing the fact he was interviewed by the press at Mipcom. He will now take some time out before making his next move. Nick doesn't plan to replace him.

The move ends Grieder's latest run with Viacom. He rejoined the company in 2004 having started his career with MTV Networks in 1992 and later joined Nickelodeon Latin America. He was also general manager of InterActiveCorp's Travel Channel between 2001 and 2004.

Jesse Whittock
11 Nov 2011
© C21 Media 2011

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