Continuing a trend that occurred with increasing regularity during the just-completed “official” 2001/2002 TV season, ad-supported cable has kicked-off the 2002 summer season with higher primetime
viewership than all of the seven broadcast networks together. According to a Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau analysis of Nielsen data for Week #35 (May 20–26), ad-supported cable surpassed ABC,
CBS, NBC, FOX, UPN, WB and PAX combined by more than 1.5 million homes, 1.6 rating points and 3 share points. For the week, ad-supported cable’s average U.S. primetime delivery increased by 2.9
million homes (+11.4% versus the same period last year); rating grew by 1.9 points (+7.7%); and share was up 3.8 points (+8.6%). Collectively, the seven broadcast networks were down by almost 1.4
million homes, 2.2 rating points and 3.5 share points compared to the year before. FOX was the only one of the four largest broadcast networks that didn’t record an audience decline in Week
#35—although its gains were minimal.