TV Ratings: Disney Channel Finally Snaps Nickelodeon's Viewership Streak

Jack Rowand/Disney Channel
Disney's Descendants

The competing kids networks finish with switched rankings for the first time in their 30-plus years of competition.

More good news for the House of Mouse. As if finishing the year off with record-shattering box office for Star Wars weren't enough, the entertainment giant's flagship kids network has finally toppled Nickelodeon in total viewers.

For the first time in its 32-year history, Disney Channel is ending the year as the most-watched cable network for total day viewers. That No. 1 status, with an average 1.234 million viewers, puts it ahead of Nickelodeon for the first time ever.

Nickelodeon, with its average 1.186 million viewers, had been the dominant network in total day total viewers for decades.

The writing has been on the wall for some time. The pair have been in an increasingly heated battle since 2011, when the Viacom-owned network's ratings declines first started.

Helping Disney Channel win the total audience trophy was its gains among tweens. The net hit its largest margin of victory every among 9- to 14-year-olds, besting Nickelodeon by a massive 92 percent.

In a Wednesday release touting the victory, Disney Channel again trumpeted the huge numbers for July telepic Descendants. It ranks as the No. 1 cable TV movie of the year with 12.2 million viewers.

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