Although the Winter Olympics and the
Super Bowl had predictable lower results for competing broadcast networks, cable networks overall witnessed slightly better ratings versus the same period a year ago.
Cable networks gained
3.5% in February 2014 versus February 2013 in key adult 18-49 average viewers to 21.2 million in prime time, according to the Nielsen C3 metric, the average commercial ratings plus three days of
time-shifted viewing. The analysis came from media industry research analyst MoffettNathanson.
Overall, broadcast networks were up 4.6% to 12.8 million 18-49 prime-time viewers.
Broadcast and cable networks gained 3.9% to 34.1 million overall during this past February.
NBC, which had the Sochi Winter Olympics, was up 212% to an average 4.9 million 18-49 prime-time
C3 viewers for the month of February. Fox, which had the Super Bowl, improved 103% to 5.9 million viewers.
Those without special sporting events suffered: CBS was down 67% to 1.7 million
18-49 prime-time C3 viewers; ABC was off 42% to 1.5 million 18-49 prime-time C3 viewers.
The better-performing cable network groups in February included: AMC Networks, up 23% to 1.1 million
18-49 prime-time C3 viewers; Discovery Networks, which grew 8% to 2.2 million; and Viacom, which gained 7% to 3.8 million; Scripps Network Interactive, 4% higher to 1.2 million; and Fox cable
channels, up 3% to 1.4 million.
Those losing ground included Disney-ABC cable networks, down 8% to 1.4 million; ESPN, which declined 9% for the month; Time Warner cable networks, down 16%
to 3.1 million; and TBS off 11% and TNT down 4%.
By way of comparison, for the 2012 Summer Olympics games, broadcast networks gained 54% in August 2012, while cable networks were down