Five years from now, what's considered poor ratings for cable TV networks now might look a lot better then.
For many cable networks who count on the likes of off-broadcast network TV
shows and other fare -- think “Big Bang Theory” on TBS; “Modern Family” on USA Network -- rougher times may be ahead.
Steve Burke, chief executive officer of
NBCUniversal, said during a Comcast earnings call
that many cable networks will be challenged to grow
ratings because many of their shows are increasingly available on other digital services. Which means even more responsibility will lie with original programming efforts.
might not be enough. So NBC will look to spread the wealth with one programming segment that seemingly defies all kinds of digital erosion: sports.
To help out its cable networks,
NBCUniversal is thinking of moving some of its sports programming to its other channels, such as USA Network. In the past, NBC has done this on USA Network, CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo and others --
especially when facing an overabundance of once-every-two-year Olympic programming.
Cable advertising has also been taking a hit, during current periods and for the near future. The
Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau estimates advertiser commitments to cable networks during the 2014-2015 upfront market dropped 6% in revenues, to $9.6 billion.
individual cable network groups have reported soft ad results. For example, on Thursday, NBCUniversal reported, amid its parent Comcast Corp’s third quarter earnings, a somewhat unusual
occurrence: its cable networks witnessed a 4.6% decline in revenues for the third quarter, while broadcast TV advertising sales rose.
Over the past couple of years, cable networks have
been selectively subjected to viewership erosion like their older brothers, the broadcast networks. Now that viewership seems to have growing collateral damage