For one day a year, TBS eclipse everything else on cable.  The network’s 24-hour marathon airing of “A Christmas Story,” which begins every year (since 1997) on Christmas Eve and runs through the day on Christmas Day, is the most-watched program on cable for both days.

All three airings of the movie on Christmas Eve draw bigger ratings in the 18-49 demographic than anything else on cable. In 2013 the 8:00 pm Christmas Eve showing was the most watched, 5.2 million total viewers.

On Christmas Day, the 10:00 am showing won the day with 4.2 million viewers, and the noon airing was in second place with 4.2 million viewers.

2013 Viewership by airing starting Christmas Eve:

24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY TBS 8:00 PM 5,249,000 1.8
24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY TBS 10:00 PM 4,037,000 1.7
24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY TBS 12:00 AM 2,726,000 1.4
24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY TBS 10:00 AM 4,953,000 2.1
24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY TBS 12:00 PM 4,232,000 1.7
24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY TBS 8:00 AM 3,592,000 1.4
24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY TBS 2:00 PM 3,472,000 1.3
24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY TBS 4:00 PM 3,109,000 1.1
24 HOURS OF A XMAS STORY TBS 6:00 PM 3,033,000 1.0

According to a 2012 Marist Poll:

It’s becoming a holiday tradition of its very own. Once again, A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life battle it out as Americans’ favorite holiday movie. But, could little Ralphie be on his way to outdistancing himself from Capra’s classic?

According to this Marist Poll, 26% of adults nationally cite A Christmas Story as their favorite holiday movie. It’s a Wonderful Life is preferred by 24%. Miracle on 34th Street warms the hearts of 16% while 13% enjoy watching Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney croon in White Christmas. An additional 13% say A Christmas Carol is their favorite holiday flick, and 9% are unsure.

When Marist last asked this question in 2010, 24% of U.S. residents said It’s a Wonderful Life was their choice for classic holiday movie compared with 23% for A Christmas Story. Miracle on 34th Street received 22% while 13% said A Christmas Carol was their holiday staple. 12% most enjoyed White Christmas, and 5% were unsure.

There is an age gap. Nearly four in ten adults under 45 years old — 39% — currently prefer A Christmas Story while 31% of Americans 45 and older say It’s a Wonderful Life is their favorite holiday film.

While 29% of men choose A Christmas Story, there is less of a consensus among women. 24% of women most fondly think of It’s a Wonderful Life compared with 22% who feel the same about A Christmas Story.

Leg Lamps and more at A Christmas Story House Gift Shop