C3 Ratings Record Slight Uptick

Cold weather in most of the U.S. may have led U.S. TV watchers to stay indoors, driving higher overall C3 TV ratings in the early weeks of 2014 -- only the second month of growth over the past year.

In January, Nielsen C3 ratings among key 18-49 viewers were slightly higher for both broadcast and cable networks, according to MoffettNathanson Research. The Nielsen C3 metric is the average commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifted TV viewing.

In prime time, broadcast networks gained 1.6% in C3 to an average 10.4 million 18-49 viewers, while cable networks grew 3% to 22.6 million 18-49 viewers. Overall, TV C3 18-49 prime-time viewing improved 2.5% in January to 33 million, according to the Nielsen C3 metric.

On the broadcast side, both Fox and CBS benefited as a result of stronger NFL Championship and playoff games, with Fox up 12% to 3.8 million 18-49 viewers in C3 and CBS 11% higher to 2.8 million.

NBC gained just 1% to 2.5 million, and ABC declined by 19% to 1.8 million. MoffettNathanson says ABC suffered because of lower ratings for its original scripted programming.

Three major cable network groups showed significant gains -- AMC's four networks were up 33% to an average 753,000 adult 18-49 viewers. Six Discovery Communications networks grew a total of 10% to 2.5 million, while twelve Viacom networks were up a total of 6% to 3.7 million.

More modest gainers included NBCU -- with more than a dozen channels, up 1% to 3.1 million 18-49 viewers -- and Scripps Networks' six networks, 1% higher to 1.27 million.

Disney's eight cable networks were down 1% to 2.69 million. Registering a steeper drop, seven Time Warner cable networks collectively sank 16%.

In total day C3 18-49 ratings -- looking at specific channels -- USA Network, Spike, AMC, ID, History, Lifetime, TLC, Food Network, ABC Family, and Syfy were higher during the month. Losing ground: Nick at Nite, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, FX, MTV, TNT, A&E, TBS, Adult Swim, BET, HGTV, ESPN,  Bravo, Comedy and Discovery.

"Watching TV" photo from Shutterstock.
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