Cartoon Network Reports Best Year in History


It’s official: 2012 has been a great year for Cartoon Network. Turner Research reports that CN has had its most-watched year in the cabler’s 20-year history. Cartoon Network is the only top three kids network to achieve growth across all kids demographics this year. Considering TV’s loss of viewers to various multi-plaform media, gaming and VOD, this is quite an accomplishment for the home of Adventure Time, Regular Show, Gumball and The Annoying Orange.

CN is on track to set new records this milestone year with its most-watched year in its history during Early Prime (7-9 p.m.) among kids 6-11/9-14 and boys 9-14, in the past seven years among kids 2-11 and boys 2-11, and the past eight years among boys 6-11. Additionally, the network will claim its most-watched year in Total Day (6 a.m.-9 p.m.) in the past six years among kids 9-14 and boys 9-14. All targeted kids and boys demo delivery in Early Prime grew mostly by double digits compared to 2011, ranging between 9% and 20%. Similarly, annual Total Day delivery grew across the board, ranging between 4% and 16%.

On the digital front, 2012-to-date, has been the #1 ranked website among kids 6-11 Unique Visitors in the Kids Entertainment category for seven of the past 10 months. Among overall Unique Visitors, beat every month in 2012 to date.

“We’re extremely grateful to our audiences for helping to make 2012 one of the most successful in Cartoon Network’s 20 year history,” said Cartoon Network President and Chief Operating Officer Stuart Snyder. “It’s truly been a remarkable year to remember, one that we’re confident will fuel continued growth.”

Among the highlights:

  • Cartoon Network recorded its highest average delivery in its history on Monday and Wednesday nights (7-9 p.m. ) among all key kids and boys (2-11, 6-11 & 9-14). Both nights increased delivery by double digits across nearly all key demos vs. 2011, ranging between 9% and 64%.

  • Also the #1 destination on Monday Night (7-9 p.m.) with all key kids and boys (2-11, 6-11 & 9-14), Cartoon Network’s original animated comedies Adventure Time (7:30 p.m.) and Regular Show (8 p.m.) ranked #1 in their respective time periods among all key kids and boys-premiere episodes increased average delivery by double digits vs. the same time period in 2011.

  • Animated action-adventure series Ninjago (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m./8 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among kids 2-11/6-11 and all boys, while increasing delivery by triple digits across the board vs. the 2011 time period.

Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network

* Rating period was 12/26/2011-12/09/2012

Source: Nielsen Media Research based on Live+7 blended with Live+ SD most current data. Rankers based on Live+SD.

Notes: All ratings based on Total U.S. Television Universe of 115,000,000 homes.

  • ToonWatcher

    What is really disturbing about this is that they make no mention of the shows that played a key part in that success.  They outright cancelled Thunder Cats, which had a large following. A fresh new take on a classic property and they canned it.  Next: DC Nation. Pulled from the schedule in the middle of the season, for absolutely no reason. They didn’t even notify DC that they pulled it. It is indeed returning in January, but CN isolated an entire group of viewers. Young Justice was getting excellent reviews for its complex story and production quality. It was popular with the adult audience, but now that audience is gone. Lastly: Sym-Bionic Titan. A great cartoon for the kids, with a good amount of story for the adults.  And they cancelled it.  Genndy Tartakovsky helped build the content of CN from the ground up, and that’s how they repay him.  Think I’m making this up? Do a google search for “help sym-bionic titan” and see for yourself how vocal that group is.  My point is this: the CN of today is all about the ratings and merchandise. Gone are the days when creative content actually mattered. Notice all of the age group mentioned in the  post. Nothing over the age of 14. That should tell you something right there. With a name like Cartoon Network, you would think that it would represent all age groups. Instead, they continue to promote the idea that cartoons can only be for kids. Numbers don’t lie though. This is one heck of an accomplishment and I am happy for them. Just don’t crap on the shows and the age groups that made this possible.

    • Anna

      Nah man, DC nation and Sym-Bionic Titan sucked. Adventure Time is the shit. The plot is amazing, but hidden behind a simplistic style that children love. The shows you mentioned were just stuff nine year old boys like.

      • ToonWatcher

        That’s true. I agree with you that Adventure Time is an awesome show. And, from what I’ve seen at animation and comic conventions, AT is very popular with young women.  I disagree about DC Nation and Symbionic Titan. I would really, really love for you to watch the last 5 episodes of each.  I didn’t expect much from both of those series, but they changed my opinion over the course of the season. I’m a 33 year old male, so action, explosions, and giant robots are right up my ally.
        Unfortunately, they DO cater to kids and boys like you mentioned in your other comment.  My argument is, with a global name like Cartoon Network, they need to represent cartoons that BOTH you and I like. They can’t say that they had their “best year ever” without talking about all the cartoons that made that happen.  

        • RobynInTheHood

          True, I mean come on, who in their right mind watches that Annoying orange BS? DC Nation is way better! I believe that, that has aided CN in getting viewers more than AO. But yes Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Gumball…I can see that helping alot. You’re right, they should give more credit where credit is due. Plus I firmly believe that there’s more Teen or Adult viewers in my opinion watching these shows than kids. I’ve seen nothing but people 15+ Adventure Time fans (including me, another adult). Eh it may be just from my observation but that’s what I see. 

  • Anna

    Why did they keep saying kids and boys? Are boys technically considered children? I’m a girl and I LOVE Cartoon Network!

    • hehey

      Probably because Cartoonnetwork wasn’t #1 among girls (Disney Channel or Nick probably were).

      Further more boys are CN’s target audience for advertising reasons.