Cable Ratings Impacted By Streaming Rivals

Watching-TV-ABC-BSome traditional cable TV program ratings may be affected by Netflix, Amazon and other services that offer up rerun programming, per a media analyst.

A number of major cable programming groups have seen viewership declines, most recently in the second quarter of 2012. Anthony DiClemente, media analyst of Barclays Capital, believes more competition could be the reason.

“We believe most of the ratings weakness is concentrated in syndicated and rerun programming, a genre that now has more direct competition from online platforms like Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon,” writes DiClemente.

“As such, we believe live sports and originals are increasingly important to the economics of both cable and broadcast programmers. Despite the anemic industry trends, Discovery continues to operate on a different tier, and has thus far, posted ratings growth of 16% in the 2Q.”



DiClemente notes that second-quarter to-date ratings are a bit better than first-quarter numbers -- but still nothing to write home about.

He says through May 27, five of the eight major cable programmers were flat or down in the quarterly ratings -- AMC Networks was off 13% year-to-year; Viacom networks down 10%; NBCU channels losing 10%; Time Warner networks off 5%; and Disney channels were flat.

Media analysts have theorized that a sudden viewership decline in some kids' networks -- in particular Nickelodeon -- was due to more programming being made available on subscription video-on-demand services like Netflix.

3 comments about "Cable Ratings Impacted By Streaming Rivals".
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  1. Doug Garnett from Atomic Direct, June 4, 2012 at 6:33 p.m.

    Interesting to note that these shifts increase the need for original programming. It's no longer enough for a cable network to re-hash reruns of past programming.

  2. Doug Garnett from Atomic Direct, June 4, 2012 at 7:10 p.m.

    Oh. And, once again the new "net distribution" runs the very strong possibility of merely undercutting the economic system that creates great programming. It siphons off the ad revenue, but lacks economic power to replace the programming that's lost.

  3. Nate Carter from NA, June 5, 2012 at 8:22 a.m.

    As long as there is "increased competition" as stated above, there will be plenty of demand for top programming driving all the revenue needed for great production. That said the idea of "Must See TV" on a Thursday night is a thing of the past.

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