Nielsen: ABC Wins* Battle Of Network Web Sites

Last month, we declared CBS the top TV network on the Web. This drew some howling from rival networks not to mention protests from impartial observers claiming flaws in the comScore video numbers we used to draw our conclusion. We didn’t disagree. *The data is inexact, flawed, and easily spun to suit multiple agendas.

This month, we’ve got a different set of data, and we’ve formed a different conclusion: ABC is the winner, according to Nielsen Online’s VideoCensus.

Again, this data contains some apples-to-oranges comparisons. First off, we’re still judging the individual sites, because viewing of CBS shows on Bebo or NBC shows on Hulu are counted separately and not reliably broken out. Second, NBC includes video for all NBC U sites, including Bravo, Sci Fi, etc. Unfair, but in this case it would only be material in the fight for second place. Nielsen also leaves out, which would boost Fox if included.

Here’s how they stack up, according to Nielsen VideoCensus, in unique viewers and average time spent per viewer during February:

ABC: 4.6m uniques / 48.6 minutes
NBC Universal: 3.7m uniques / 53 minutes
CBS: 2.9m uniques / 69.1 minutes
Fox: 347,000 uniques / 3.7 minutes

YouTube is dominant in video, so why do we care? Unlike the amateur video on YouTube, a top TV show on the Web can garner $60-$70 CPM ad rates, meaning this is a ratings race no one wants to lose.

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