ESPN, Disney Lose Viewers, But AMC, Spike Rocket

Six of the biggest TV cable networks lost prime-time viewership in the first quarter of this year.

USA, the biggest prime-time cable network, as well as the next six large cable viewing networks -- ESPN, History, Disney Channel, TBS, and TNT -- all lost ground. Those on the upswing included those in the next tier of cable networks: Fox News (7th place), AMC (8th place); and Discovery Channel (9th place).

USA was down 22% versus its first-quarter results in 2013 to land at 2.35 million prime-time viewers. ESPN slipped 2% to 2.13 million; History was down 18% to 2.12 million; Disney Channel was off 21% to 2.042 million; TBS gave back 4% to 2.038 million; and TNT was down 2% to 1.86 million.

On the other side of things: Fox News was up 5% to 1.65 million; AMC grew a big 18% to a 1.65, boosted from the network’s high-flying “Breaking Bad” and “Walking Dead,” while Discovery edged on 4% to 1.52 million.

Other big performers were Nick at Nite, which added on 10% to 1.21 million; TLC, which rose 20% to 1.2 million; Spike TV, up 18% to 1.0 million and Investigation DS, which added 26% to 924,000.

Among other top networks, A&E was down 19% to 1.46 million, and truTV was off 29% to 814,000.

While Fox News grew during the period in prime time, MSNBC was down 9% to 695,000 and CNN was off 15% to 504,000. In daytime, it was much the same results: Fox News was up 4% to 1.11 million; MSNBC was down 8% to 399,000; and CNN was off 5% to 384,000.

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