Ad-supported cable continues to top the broadcast networks this season by large margins. Yet after recent declines, the Big Four broadcasters
collectively are on the rise -- albeit barely.
Also, while cable ratings are up, its share of the overall market, is basically flat.
In the 18-to-49 demo, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC are collectively up 1% to an 11.0 by one measure. Then in total viewers, the collective average is up 2% to 36 million. That's through the first four weeks of the season, according to Nielsen.
National ad-supported cable networks are up by a higher 4% in the 18-to-49 demo to a 17.7, but flat in total viewers at about 52.6 million.
Among a total pie of the Big Four and national cable networks, cable has about 62% share of viewers 18 to 49 -- up just 0.6% versus a year ago. With total viewers, the cable share is 59%, up just 0.5%.
The jump in broadcast numbers, however, is largely due to Fox's "X Factor"-fueled increase.
If the CW is added in, the collective average for the five broadcasters is flat year-over-year at an 11.4 in the 18-to-49 demo, while total viewers are up just 1% to 36.9 million. (The CW's target is women 18 to 34.)
The broadcast share figures do not include the Ion and Spanish-language networks. Cable share figures do not include regional sports networks.