Cable prime-time programming for 18-49 viewers under the Nielsen C3 metric -- commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifting -- was down 9.8% to an average 18.6 million viewers, according to MoffettNathanson Research. Broadcast networks also sank but less -- off 5.1% to 5.2 million viewers.
Overall, TV dropped 8.8% to 23.8 million average viewers.
Cable sank faster than broadcast for the second straight month -- which MoffettNathanson calls “shocking.” These declines were better versus a year ago when both broadcast and cable had bad comparisons due to the 2012 London Summer Olympics -- down 49% and 13%, respectively.
Looking at specific TV networks in August of this year, NBC and ABC fared the best -- only down 1% each to an average 1.54 million and 1.27 million 18-49 viewers in the prime-time C3 measure. CBS was off 10% to 1.3 million, while Fox was down 18% to 1.0 million.
Cable networks groups were down virtually across the board: Viacom’s channels were collectively down 16% to 3.3 million; Time Warner off 15% to 2.8 million 18-49 C3; NBCU slipped 16% to 2.5 million; Discovery shed 16% to 1.9 million; A&E Networks lost 26% to 1.7 million; and AMC Networks dropped 18% to 581,000.
Only Fox cable networks witnessed growth (24%) due to the rocketing ratings from its relatively new FXX network, coming from a month-long marathon via “The Simpsons,” new to the channel.
Scripps Networks Interactive and independent cable networks also fared better than most -- with flat results versus a year ago, coming in at 1.13 million and 1.1 million 18-49 C3 viewers, respectively.