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2012 Presidential Election

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ABC’s CMA Music Festival averages 7M viewers; 2nd-biggest audience in 6 years

Opposite mostly original competition during its 8:00-11:00 p.m. telecast on CBS (“Big Brother”/”Same Name”), NBC (“Minute To Win It”/season finale of ”Marriage Ref”) and Fox (series debut of “In the Flow with Affion Crockett”), ABC’s “CMA Music Festival” surged from its lead-in (+218% in Total Viewers/+220% in Adults 18-49) to draw an average audience of 7.0 million viewers and finish as the most-watched program in its 3-hour time period. The special also ranked No. 1 in its time slot with Women 18-34 (1.6/5).

The complete press release is included after the jump.

More than Tripling its Lead-in, ABC’s “CMA Music Festival: Country’s

Night to Rock” Finishes as the Most-Watched TV Show in its 3-Hour Slot

Jumping by 1.0 Million Viewers from Last Year, ABC’s “CMA Music Festival” Draws Its 2nd-Biggest Audience in 6 Years and Builds Year to Year Across Other Key Demos

ABC’s “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night To Rock” Generates the Network’s

Largest Summertime Entertainment Audience in the Time Period in Nearly 5 Years

“CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” (8:00-11:00 p.m.)

Opposite mostly original competition during its 8:00-11:00 p.m. telecast on CBS (“Big Brother”/”Same Name”), NBC (“Minute To Win It”/season finale of ”Marriage Ref”) and Fox (series debut of “In the Flow with Affion Crockett”), ABC’s “CMA Music Festival” surged from its lead-in (+218% in Total Viewers/+220% in Adults 18-49) to draw an average audience of 7.0 million viewers and finish as the most-watched program in its 3-hour time period. The special also ranked No. 1 in its time slot with Women 18-34 (1.6/5).

Building young adult audience in each hour of its broadcast, ABC’s broadcast of the “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” moved into first place during its final hour from 10:00-11:00 p.m., topping the season closer of NBC’s “Marriage Ref” by 100% in Adults 18-49 (1.8/5 vs. 0.9/2).

ABC’s “CMA Music Festival” jumped over last year’s telecast by 1 million viewers (+17% – 7.0 million vs. 6.0 million on Wednesday, 9/1/10), drawing its 2nd-largest audience in 6 years – since 2005. The broad appealing show was also up year over year with Men 18-49 (+8%), Men 25-54 (+13%), Adults 25-54 (+10%), Teens 12-17 (+29%) and Kids 2-11 (+50% – a 7-year high).

The “CMA Music Festival” generated ABC’s biggest summertime numbers in the time period with entertainment programming in nearly 5 years with Total Viewers (7.0 million), and in more than 3 years with Adults 18-49 (1.6/4) – since 8/27/06 and 7/6/08, respectively.

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 41% currently, from 37% at the same point in 2010. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.

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