Big cable network winners so far this year are History, MTV and Discovery. Those suffering in the early going include CNBC, Fox News, and TBS.
History grabbed 2.1 million for a big 39% gain, thanks to "Pawn Stars" and other shows pulling their weight for the month of February, versus the same period a year ago. On the back of big numbers from "Jersey Shore" and solid gains from "Teen Mom," MTV rocketed up 52% in its prime-time viewership data to 1.37 million. Discovery added 31% to get to 1.39 million.
Other notable gainers: FX, with a growing number of original TV series on the march, picked up a strong 31% to an average 936,000 in prime time. CNN got a bit of a boost from a new Piers Morgan centerpiece prime-time show, moving up 26% to 674,000.
Leading cable network USA Network showed some resiliency, improving 2% in its average prime-time viewers to 3.1 million. Close competitor TNT was down 1% to 2.3 million viewers.
Disney Channel continues to see a solid performance -- up 15% to 2.7 million, good for second place in prime time. Also strong during this period was ESPN -- up 14% to 1.6 million.
In total day ratings -- more of a reflection of how well a network does in daytime -- Nickelodeon was still tops at 2.3 million, flat versus February 2009. Disney Channel was next at 1.7 million, up 10%.
Prime-time losers included CNBC, down to 284,000 in prime time with a big-time 58% loss. In its key daytime programming block, conditions aren't great either -- down 45% to 211,000 overall viewers. Another news network -- Fox News -- suffered as well, down 12% to 1.9 million, it sat in fifth place overall.
A&E was at 1.50 million, off 5%. TBS, also a top network, was down 13% to 1.46 million. Still looking for a stronger presence, Lifetime was at 964,000, down 3%.
After a big start, OWN, the new Oprah Winfrey Network, continued to tread water. In prime time, it was virtually even with what Discovery Health did in February 2010 -- down 2% to 247,000 average viewers in prime time. In daytime, it was down 7% to 131,000.
Other notables: Scripps networks both recovered from steep declines in the previous periods -- Food Network was up 8% to 1.06 million and HGTV added 3% to 1.18 million. Syfy was 13% higher to 1.21 million; truTV, was flat at 1.19 million; Nick Jr. was 23% better at 910,000.