Ad-Supported Cable Bests Broadcast Nets

Broadcast networks continue to lose ground versus ad-supported cable networks in analyzing one broad measure of program ratings.

For the traditional prime-time season -- September to May -- collective 18-49 rating points for the broadcasters were down 8% in 2012-2013 to land at a 9.4 rating total. Ad-supported cable networks were flat against year-ago results, totalling a 18.9 rating. These were the results for live program plus seven days of time-shifted (L7) Nielsen results as analyzed by Turner Research.

CBS was the top broadcast network for the entire season among 18-49 viewers in L7 results, much the way it was in other Nielsen metrics. CBS was at a 2.9 rating -- down 3% -- while Fox was in second place at 2.5, down 22% versus a year ago.

The improved NBC was a tick behind -- one-tenth of a rating point at a 2.4 18-49 rating -- down 4% against a year ago. ABC was just behind NBC at a 2.3 rating, 8% below last year’s results.

For the most recent second-quarter period, broadcasters were down 8% to total a 7.3 rating among 18-49 viewers, with ad-supported cable slipping 3% to reach a 17.6 collective rating. Here, the broadcast race was tighter than for the season overall. CBS and ABC were both at 2.0 -- with CBS up 5% and ABC, down 9%. Fox and NBC were tied at a 1.9 rating -- with Fox down 24% and NBC down 10%.

TNT was tops among basic cable networks in the second quarter of 2012 at 2.661 million total viewers, up 4% -- just beating out USA Network, which was at 2.65. USA was down 7%. Disney Channel was at 2.39 million, up 2%. Next was History -- at 2.02 million, down 21% -- and Fox News Channel with a 1.89 million average, up 8%



1 comment about "Ad-Supported Cable Bests Broadcast Nets".
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  1. Peter Knobloch from rj palmer llc, June 27, 2013 at 11:12 a.m. be consistent, broadcast and cable comparisons need to be reflected in ratings or viewers and against the same it 18-49 or total viewers. Your article compares ratings on broadcast and total viewers in cable. One could infer that you are skewing your report in favor of cable...although I'm sure that wasn't your intention.

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