networks didn't have a particularly good summer -- hurt by the Summer Olympics on NBC Television Network. But surveying all of last season, cable and broadcast had positive results.
The top 10 cable networks were down 5% to an average 5.9 18-49 rating. All ad-supported cable lost 5% to an average 17.7 18-49 rating, according to third-quarter 2012 Turner Broadcasting research analysis.
Overall viewership fared a bit better -- but it was still down versus a year ago, off 1% for the top 10 cable networks to a 6 rating among all those viewers 2 years old+, and down 3% for all of ad-supported cable to a 19.2 rating for persons 2+.
By way of comparison, the four broadcast networks were up 8% to an average 7 rating among 18-49 viewers, and 6% among all viewers to a 8.2 rating. NBC was a major contributor to this, given the Summer Olympics, with a 79% rise in 18-49 ratings and a 73% hike in overall viewers.
But even without the Olympics, NBC was the only network to gain summer-to-summer, up 5% to a 2.0 18-49 rating. Fox was down 11% to a 1.7 number; CBS dropped 24% off the pace to 1.3 rating; and ABC slipped 29% to a 1.2 number.
Virtually all of television -- many big cable as well as the broadcast networks -- had a better story to tell when looking at an entire year -- Sept. 19, 2011 to Sept. 23, 2012.
The four broadcast networks witnessed a 2% rise in 18-49 rating to an average 9.1 rating, with overall viewers up 3% to a 10.5 rating. The top 10 cable networks also had a 2% rise to a 6.6 rating and a 2% rise in overall viewers to a 6.3 rating. Looking at all ad-supported cable, there was a 1% rise to a 18.5 rating among 18-49 viewers, and a 1% decline in 19.3 in overall viewers.