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'Kitten Bowl,' which draws 3.2 million viewers on Hallmark Channel

Two kittens vie for the football during the Kitten Bowl
Two kittens vie for the football during the Kitten Bowl
Hallmark Channel

Hallmark Channel scored with the debut of its newest annual tradition, "Kitten Bowl," which drew 3.2 million unduplicated viewers during its Sunday February 2, 12-3pm premiere. In addition, the premiere and its 3 encores reached a total of 6.1 million viewers (P2+).

The program, part of the network’s advocacy campaign Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project, outperformed the corresponding time period average from one year ago across key demographics including 41% among households; 39% among adults 25-54; and 14% among women 25-54.

"Kitten Bowl" became the Hallmark Channel’s most successful social media campaign to date, named one of the three most social new shows of the week. #KittenBowl (and related terms) spiked 97% and garnered 50,000 plus tweets during Sunday alone. The show reached 23 million overall and trended on Twitter during the course of its broadcast. (Source: TweetReach, YahooSeachData, @thewitspotter)

“We’re thrilled with the performance of our inaugural broadcast of Kitten Bowl,” said Bill Abbott, president and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. “The show clearly resonated with viewers and took social media by storm, trending on Twitter much of the day. We are extremely proud that all 71 of the kitten athletes who participated found loving homes, while Hallmark Channel further raised awareness of the epidemic of pet homelessness in our country.”

The 3-hour special was hosted by TV personality and national spokesperson for North Shore Animal League America, Beth Stern, with commentary by legendary Yankees announcer, John Sterling, and participation by a wide range of celebrities, including Regis Philbin, Hoda Kotbe, Renee Herlocker, Rachael Ray, Lisa Vanderpump, Rocco Dispirito, Nicky Hilton, Kelly Rutherford, Chuck Nice, Bob Harper, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and Kristen Aldridge.

In addition to celebrity support with tweets from Whitney Cummings, Evan Rachel Wood, Candace Cameron Bure, Beth Maitland and members of the LA Kings, among others, North Shore Animal League America and Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation, and their shelter partners, held adoption events in support of Kitten Bowl. The events kept consumers engaged in the message of the importance of adopting shelter animals and the plight they endure.