Broadcast vs. Cable Primetime Season-to-Date Ratings: 2002-2003

Broadcast vs. Cable Primetime Season-to-Date Ratings: 2002-2003

Accoding to the, through week 15 of the broadcast season, which ended January 5th, broadcast’s lead over ad-supported cable remained strong. The research was conducted on a level playing field, and included all of ad-supported broadcast television - including the newer network affiliates, Hispanic affiliates, and independent stations – and all of ad-supported cable.

Primetime is defined as M-Sa, 8-11pm and Sunday, 7-11pm. Both household level data, and viewing among adults 25-54 were examined

Season-to-date, local broadcast delivered a combined 35.2 HH rating, surpassing the 28.0 HH rating delivered by ad-supported cable nets in the same time period.

Broadcast’s combined delivery tops ad-supported cable’s delivery by 7.2 rating points, or 26%; this advantage become more significant when one considers that ad-supported cable encompasses over 55 networks.

HH Ratings - Primetime Broadcast and Ad-Supported Cable Season-to-Date 2002-2003 v. Season-to-Date 2001-2002 (9/23/02-1/5/03 vs. 9/24/01-1/06/02)

HH Rtg
02 - 03
HH Rtg
01 - 02
CBS8.2 8.2 0.0%
NBC7.8 7.9 -1.3
ABC6.5 6.9-5.8
FOX5.1 5.5-7.3
WB2.2 --
UPN1.8 --
PAX0.9 --
Other (WB, UPN, PAX)4.9 5.2-5.8
Ind.2.7 2.317.4
4 Nets27.6 28.6-3.5
7 Nets32.5 33.8-3.8
Total Broadcast35.2 36.1-2.5
Ad Supported Cable28.0 27.71.1

CBS’s 8.2 season-to-date HH rating was nearly five times greater than ad-supported cable’s highest ranking network, ESPN, which delivered a 1.7 HH rating. Lifetime followed with a 1.5 HH rating, and TNT delivered a 1.4 to round out ad-supported cable’s top three.

The seven broadcast networks delivered 32.5 HH rating points combined; by comparison, the top 10 cable networks delivered 12.1 HH rating points, or 37.2% of the delivery of the seven broadcast networks.

See stations and age distribution here at

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