New York, NY – December 9, 2013 — “The National Dog Show Presented By Purina®” celebrated the start of the holiday season with the largest total audience in its history, an estimated 22 million television viewers, according to NBC Research. Since its debut in 2002, the two-hour special has averaged 18.5 million total viewers on Thanksgiving Day and has now experienced audience increases in three of the last four years.

The family-oriented canine showcase delivered a 5.5 rating and a 13 share for NBC during the noon-2 p.m. time period on Thanksgiving Day, according to The Nielsen Company. The rating is a 12 percent increase over 2012 for the 12-year-old special which NBC deftly slotted between the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and football on the other networks to the delight of America’s 50 million-plus dog-owning households.

The rating is the best since the broadcast did a 5.7 national household rating in 2003. The rating is the percent of all television homes in the United States tuned to a specific program and the share is the percentage of televisions in use at that time tuned to a specific program.

Digital results were also impressive. For the first time in the event’s history, NBC provided a live stream of the Thanksgiving Day telecast across the web through and over mobile devices through the NBC Sports Live Extra app. Combined with short form video on demand clips of the show, The National Dog Show generated over 530,000 views.

“The show has become a national celebration of the bond that we have with our canine friends,” stated Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN, who created the show in 2002. “John O’Hurley and David Frei have the unique ability to educate and entertain in what has become a family holiday tradition.”

The special is hosted by O’Hurley, the television personality best known for his role as catalog king J. Peterman in “Seinfeld.” His everyman, whimsical approach is complemented by the expertise of Frei, America’s most prominent authority on all things canine and the host of the famed Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on USA Network. The show features Best in Show competition among 1,500 of America’s finest show dogs along with features and vignettes on interesting breeds, therapy dogs and pet health and wellness.

This year, the Best In Show champion is Jewel, an elegant American Foxhound from Washington D.C., the top performer in the history of a breed that dates back to the 1600s. George Washington, America’s first president, owned an American Foxhound. Since that first year in 2002, the broadcast has named 12 Best In Show canines from among some 18,000 competitors while introducing America to 28 new breeds and providing some of the most endearing and memorable video on TV, both in the ring and behind the scenes.

Among the top-rated markets were New York City (8.9), West Palm Beach (10.2), Tampa (9.0), Baltimore (8.6), Buffalo (8.8), Pittsburgh (8.3) and Orlando (8.2).

With heavy interest from dog lovers and breed enthusiasts around the world, offers a look at every dog in the group competition, featuring the walks, examination and judging of over 170 breed-winning canines.

The National Dog Show Presented by Purina” is hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, which staged its first show in the 1800s and has operated the Philadelphia cluster of shows annually since 1933. It takes place each November at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks/Valley Forge, PA.

Steve Griffith, Vizion Group, 484 433 7757,