Broadcast Dips, Cable Holds As Season Ends

peoplewatchingtvLooking at the last third of the TV 2011-2012 season -- over a broader week-long viewing metric -- broadcast networks sank in viewership versus the year before. TV cable networks were virtually flat.

The four major English-language networks lost 9% in 18-49 ratings points to land at a collective 8.0 in 18-49 ratings. At the same time, the top 10 cable networks inched up 1% (a 6.5 rating) and all ad-supported cable networks (some 60-odd networks) showed a 2% rise (to a 18.0 rating).

This is per Turner Broadcasting research, which blended live-program-plus-seven-days of time-shifted ratings (L7) for the second quarter and live-program-plus-same-day ratings (June 4-17). For the season overall, the four networks were flat with its 18-49 viewership, versus a year ago, to stop at a total 18-49 rating of 10.2.



The top 10 cable networks rose 2% to a 6.7 collective rating in this category -- with all advertising-supported networks 3% higher to a 8.9 rating. As in other metrics, Fox was the leader among the broadcast networks for the season -- averaging a 3.2 rating in the L7 program metric, with CBS next at a 3.0 rating, and ABC and NBC tied for third with a 2.5.

In terms of overall viewership for the season, the four networks kept pace with all cable ad-supported networks, both rising 1%. The top 10 cable networks rose 2% in the period. Total TV viewing in the second quarter 2012 is down slightly from the previous quarter, but up from two years ago.

Total TV viewing was at 32.7 hours a week, with live viewing at 30.1 hours and time-shifted viewing at 2.6 hours. Just looking at prime-time viewing, total TV was at 8.2 hours, with live viewing at 7.3 hours, and time-shifted viewing at 0.9 hours.

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