Most Cable Nets Lose Viewers, HGTV And Discovery See Gains

Cable TV networks this summer continued to struggle to improve viewership.

Only four of 15 networks witnessed gains in overall Nielsen viewership in prime time, with TNT still leading all channels versus a year ago but down 22% to 1.95 million prime-time viewers.

Gainers included Fox News Channel, up 9% to 1.93 million; HGTV gaining 13% to 1.6 million; Discovery Channel adding 19% to 1.59 million; and AMC improving 11% to 1.03 million.

Big decliners were USA Network, in fourth place, down 18% to ESPN (13th place) sinking 33% to 1.03 million; and FX (10th place), off 13% to 1.1 million.

USA is still the leader among 18-49 viewers in prime time, but losing 17% versus the summer 2014 to now average 764,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.

Discovery also made big gains to land in second place, up 11% to 723,000 18-49 viewers. Turner’s networks TBS and TNT both lost ground, down -- 19% and 23%, respectively. TBS was in third place, and TNT in fourth.



Younger 18-34 viewers are also led for USA Network, which was down 20% to 360,000. Adult Swim was next, slipping 2% to 355,000. TBS was down 25% to 310,000; and Discovery Channel gained 10% to 279,000.

Viacom networks MTV, VH1, and Comedy Central saw major declines. MTV was down 30% to 263,000, VH1 gave up 20% to 241,000, and Comedy Central was down 28% to 193,000.

The current summer ratings are a blend of Nielsen live program-plus-seven days of time-shifting data from June 1 to August 30 of this year and live program-plus-same-day of time-shifting, August 17 to August 30.

2 comments about "Most Cable Nets Lose Viewers, HGTV And Discovery See Gains".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 2, 2015 at 7:05 p.m.

    Wayne, the implication in this story is that "cable" is losing its audience in primetime, but the "findings" are only for 15 channels, not all of basic cable. The figures for all basic cable channels are also available from Nielsen. Why not include them so readers get a more complete picture? Are these declines representative of all or most cable channels or just a number of the larger players? Inquisitive minds want to know.

  2. James Smith from J. R. Smith Group, September 3, 2015 at 10:17 a.m.

    Agreed Ed.  If, as that sage from CBS said "back in the day" people watch programs not networks, are those gains due to better programming OR to again go "back in the day" a body-count shift to "least objectionable" programming?

Next story loading loading..