Ad-Supported Cable Dips, Broadcast Rises

Watching-TV-Shutterstock-A3Ad-supported cable 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.



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1 comment about "Ad-Supported Cable Dips, Broadcast Rises".
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  1. Michael Natale from MCM Media Sales, September 28, 2012 at 11:31 a.m.

    "The four broadcast networks witnessed a 2% rise in 18-49 rating to an average 9.1 rating"

    The only reason the 4 Broadcast Nets are up is because the 2012 Olympics are factored was that factored in that statement?

    The basic laws of supply and demand just don't seem to exist in the television world....or do they? As ratings decrease year after year without fail (and certainly commercial viewing decreases)-due to alll the variables including chord cutting, fragmentation and distractability from smartphones, Ipad's, ad skipping from DVR's, Auto Hopper, internet connected tv's etc, etc), the higher the Network cpm's go, which in turn creates more demand on the part of advertisiers in that they are willing to pay higher prices for the lower ratings....I guess them maybe the laws of S & D do hold up in that if there is less of something you are willing to pay more for it.

    Although, if ratings were to suddenly skyrocket would prices/cpm's then plummet?

    It's "Irrational Exhuberance"'s the housing bubble all over again..... home prices keep rising and people are willing to pay more and more for these homes until the bottom drops out.

    Is it just that TV is still the best way to reach people?

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