Press Release

                                 


The cast of Downton Abbey, Season 3
(©Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE)

“Downton Abbey, Season 3” on MASTERPIECE CLASSIC
Rates Second on Super Bowl Sunday

– 4.4 Household Rating Up 69% from Season 2 Super Bowl Sunday;
Season 3 Premiere Highest-Rated Drama in PBS History –

ARLINGTON, VA; February 4, 2013 -- PBS and WGBH announced today that “Downton Abbey, Season 3” on MASTERPIECE CLASSIC rated second only to the Super Bowl on February 3 (Nielsen Overnights data, 4.4 household rating). The drama, a Carnival/MASTERPIECE co-production, has seen a strong audience all season; the average audience for Season 3’s first five episodes is 72% above the first five episodes of Season 2. Last night’s episode averaged 6.6 million viewers (Nielsen Fast National data).

The season premiere on January 6 earned a 7.4 national (Live +7) household rating and averaged 11.1 million viewers -- growing from a 5.1 household rating and average audience of 7.9 million viewers as first reported in the Fast National overnight ratings -- making it the top-rated PBS drama of all time.

These record-breaking numbers carry over into the digital space. On Sunday, January 6, a record-breaking number of unique visitors went to the MASTERPIECE site, and January 2013 vs. January 2012 saw a 53% increase in unique visitors overall, and a 174% increase in mobile visits. Additionally, in the month of January there were more than 6.3 million streams of all “Downton Abbey” content on PBS video platforms, which is 35% higher than January 2012.

Conversations centering on the official #DowntonPBS hashtag have seen consistently strong numbers all season, and users’ engagement was highlighted during the Super Bowl blackout. One @PBS tweet about Downton Abbey was one of the most talked about tweets of the evening, generating nearly 4,500 re-tweets and favorites, and mentions in Super Bowl coverage in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and ABC News.

Season 3 sales have shined across a number of retailers, including shoppbs.org (the #1 best-seller since it became available for pre-order in September 2012), iTunes (the #1 show since the January 7 launch), and Amazon Instant Video (the #1 show since the January 7 launch). Amazon recently announced that its Prime Instant Video will become the exclusive subscription streaming home for "Downton Abbey" later this year. Seasons 1 & 2 rank as the most watched TV seasons on the service.

Season 3 concludes with a 90-minute finale on February 17.

“Downton Abbey” is a Carnival/MASTERPIECE Co-Production. Carnival is a division of NBCUniversal.

About MASTERPIECE
MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE. Funding for the series is provided by Viking River Cruises and Ralph Lauren Corporation with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series’ future.

About PBS
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 123 million people through television and more than 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a leader in educational multimedia, including PBS LearningMedia, and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards…even two Oscars. Find more information at www.wgbh.org.

– PBS –

CONTACTS: 
Jennifer Rankin Byrne, PBS, 703-739-5487, jrbyrne@pbs.org
Ellen Dockser, WGBH, 617-300-5338, ellen_dockser@wgbh.org

For images and additional up-to-date information on this and other PBS programs, visit PBS PressRoom at pbs.org/pressroom.

                                 
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