Finishing 2013 with a 3.3 rating/9 share in DMA Households, Monday-Sunday Sign-On to Sign-Off, WABC-TV grows 6% over last year and continues its run of dominance in the Tri-State area. With an average quarter-hour audience of 296,000 viewers all year long, Channel 7 attracts a larger audience than any other television station in the nation.
It was a busy year for WABC-TV as it hosted several major local events, began new community partnerships, saw increased viewership on many of its signature programs, and launched innovative new digital platforms.
WABC-TV-produced "LIVE with Kelly and Michael" had a terrific 2013, the first full calendar year with Michael Strahan as the show's co-host with Kelly Ripa. The program dominated its time period, winning New York by a +50% advantage in DMA Households and by +43% among Women 25-54, and was also up +13% year-to-year among DMA Households. Nationally, "LIVE" now stands as the second most- watched syndicated talk show, ahead of "Ellen" and behind only "Dr. Phil," both of which air in more heavily-viewed afternoon time periods.
The ING New York City Marathon, New York's biggest sporting event, returned to Channel 7 after a 20-year absence. In a partnership with ESPN, WABC-TV made the 43rd running of the world's biggest footrace available to more viewers than ever before. On November 3rd, the marathon had its highest ratings of recent years as Channel 7's coverage reached 1.7 million people over the air and averaged 582,000 viewers per quarter-hour.
The marathon had 145,000 live streams on 7online and marathon content was accessed in 197 different countries and territories, making it a truly global success. Channel 7's marathon pre-race coverage averaged an outstanding 342,000 viewers, and its "Countdown to the Starting Line" special the night before won its time period handily with 259,000 viewers. Channel 7 kicked off its marathon coverage by airing the Opening Ceremony on the Friday night before the marathon and again won its time period. WABC-TV's coverage also reached tens of thousands of people via social media, making its coverage of the marathon a success by every measure.
Channel 7 was heavily involved in the year's many local political campaigns, hosting the Democratic primary debates for New York City comptroller and mayoral candidates, the Republican mayoral debate, a general election mayoral debate between Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota, and a New Jersey senatorial debate between Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan. Every debate carried by WABC-TV won its time period with more than 100,000 viewers each time.
In May, Channel 7 launched the WATCH ABC authenticated service, which allows viewers access to 24/7 live viewing of WABC-TV on mobile devices. Currently available to subscribers of Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Charter, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse, it's the first and only authenticated linear broadcasting service that also offers many on-demand options. WATCH ABC allows viewers more access to their favorite programs at home and on the go.