Television viewing in May -- one of the final big months of the year for some TV networks -- took another expected decline among key viewers, while non-TV viewing witnessed continued improvement. Ad-supported cable TV networks were not immune to dips either.
Broadcast prime-time 18-49 viewers had a 16% decline in May versus an average 6.4 million versus the same period a year before, looking at Nielsen’s C3 ratings, average commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifting. The analysis came from MoffettNathanson Research.
Ad-supported cable TV networks were not immune -- down 7% to 18.2 million 18-49 viewers in C3 prime-time numbers. Cable was also off 6% in total day 18-49 viewers to 10.7 million.
Looking at specific broadcast networks, ABC fared the best of the worst in prime time -- down 8% to 1.87 million 18-49 viewers in Nielsen C3; CBS was down 18% to 1.5 million; NBC was off 20% to 1.6 million; and Fox gave up 24% to 1.3 million.
The best-performing cable networks groups in prime time included Fox, up 3% to 1.26 million in C3 18-49 metrics; Disney networks, which gained 3% to 2.03 million; AMC Networks, which added 3% to 659,000; and Discovery networks, which inched up 1% to 1.94 million.
On the losing end, Scripps Networks Interactive slipped 1% to 1.1 million; Time Warner lost 9% to 3.3 million; A&E Networks was down 16% to 1.35 million; and Viacom sank 19% 2.58 million.
Live TV viewing was down 8% in May among prime-time 18-49 viewers, according to MoffettNathanson, with time-shifted viewing virtually the same, up 1%.
Other increases came from digital sources. For example, video game consoles, which includes subscription video on demand viewing, was up 26%; other multimedia device usage, 83% higher.