ABC-Disney's Disney Channel might help allay fears that streaming full-length episodes online cannibalizes their performance on TV. An episode of the network's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody that was streamed online June 2 and ran on TV later that night earned the most viewers of 12 episodes of the series that ran on TV that day, with 4.3 million viewers.
The episode, "The Suite Smell of Success," attracted more than 1.2 million streams on DisneyChannel.com during the day on Friday and then ran on TV at 6:30 p.m. as part of a "Double Play" marathon of 12 back-to-back Suite Life episodes. Not only that episode do the best in the TV marathon, but it also ranked as the most-viewed telecast of the day in basic cable with kids 6-11 (10.9 rating/2.17 million viewers) and tweens 9-14 (9.9 rating/2.02 million viewers).
The "Double Play" marathon coincided with Disney's relaunch of DisneyChannel.com to feature a broadband player that streams full-length episodes of its shows. For its first weekend, the site generated more than 11.4 million streams of Disney Channel content, 3.7 million unique users (up 83% from last year) and 78.7 million page views (up124% from last year), according to the network.
Disney, which is not ad-supported (although the Website is), won its time period versus all basic cable networks with total viewers, households, kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14 with the Suite Life marathon. The 12 back-to-back episodes averaged more than 3.34 million total viewers between 6 and 10 p.m.