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Original Article By Alex Dudok De Wit At CartoonBrew.com

If you work for Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, or Cartoon Network, you may want to look away now.

Variety has collated Nielsen data on network viewership in 2021, and the numbers paint a grim picture for most channels. Every major broadcaster of animation saw a double-digit slump this year, mirroring the ongoing decline of linear tv.

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Below is a list of the animation networks, with their place in the overall chart, number of viewers, and change on 2020. For context, the top-rated network this year was CBS (5,574,000 viewers), followed by NBC (5,484,000) and ABC (4,077,000).

  • 41. Adult Swim (386,000, -25%)
  • 46. Nickelodeon (335,000, -32%)
  • 54. Disney Junior (258,000, -17%)
  • 63. Disney Channel (233,000, -35%)
  • 64. Nick Jr. (232,000, -31%)
  • 72. Cartoon Network (201,000, -26%)
  • 101. Disney XD (83,000, -13%)
  • 107. Nicktoons (67,000, -24%)

Variety also ranked the 50 top-rated networks for the 18–49 age bracket. Three of the animation broadcasters made this list:

  • 20. Adult Swim (224,000, -28%)
  • 39. Nickelodeon (119,000, -27%)
  • 49. Disney Junior (91,000, -10%)

All these numbers are on a par with the precipitous drops of the past two years, and continue a downward trend that began before that. Since 2014, Disney Channel has lost 88.1% of its total audience and Adult Swim has dropped by 71.3%. Cartoon Network is down by 79.3% and Nickelodeon by 74.5% since 2016.

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The context, of course, is the rise of streaming platforms and video sharing platforms, whose viewership is not included in these charts as it is measured so differently. For years, kids’ cable broadcasters have been hemorrhaging viewers to these services, chiefly Netflix and Youtube.

Read full article at CartoonBrew.com

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