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November 29, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

When Viacom released its third-quarter results earlier this month, CEO Philippe Dauman described the steady loss of viewers at its Nickelodeon kids channel as “inexplicable.” Now new data from Nielsen Research showing a 1.7 percent overall rise in preteen TV viewers make the Nickelodeon losses appear even more inexplicable. Today’s (Tuesday) Wall Street Journal observes that the number of kids 2-11 who watched the channel in September was down 11 percent from the same month a year ago. In October the decline soared to 17 percent and in the first three weeks of November, to 19 percent. At first Dauman attributed the reported declines to a probable glitch in Nielsen’s ratings system, but the Journal said that it had received a statement from Nielsen indicating that it had been working with Viacom on a review of the ratings and that it now can confirm “that our measurement methodology, operations and related reporting processes are working as expected.” The Journal observed that more and more kids are now watching nonkids networks and that the number of Hispanic households has increased 4.6 percent over the past year, resulting in more kids watching Spanish-language TV.