TV Nets Sink 8% in C3 Prime Time

TV networks didn’t do much to stem overall viewership erosion in the second half of the summer -- save for AMC's “Fear The Walking Dead.”

Broadcast networks showed a 9% dip in 18-49 viewers to 4.72 million for August, looking at Nielsen C3 ratings, according to MoffettNathanson Research. (C3 is average commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifting.) Cable networks were down 7% to 17.3 million 18-49 C3 viewers.

Overall, TV witnessed an 8% drop in C3 prime time to 22 million 18-49 viewers and a 7% decline in total day 18-49 viewers to 13.7 million.

NBC was the best of the worst among the broadcast networks -- down 4% to 1.5 million. The network showed continued strength from its two leading summer shows: “America’s Got Talent” and “American Ninja Warriors.”

CBS was down 10% to 1.2 million, while ABC declined 13% to 1.0 million (due to the later start for college football) and Fox was off 17% to 870,000.

AMC Network easily upped its August C3 prime-time numbers, due to the start of its “Fear The Walking Dead,” a prequel to its popular prime-time series. Its 18-49 viewer C3 numbers soared 36% in August to average 952,000 from the same month a year ago.

Scripps Networks Interactive was a decent performer -- basically flat, off 1% to 1.1 million 18-49 viewers. Cable TV network groups 21 Century Fox, Discovery Communications, and Time Warner came out of the period relatively unscathed compared to other network groups -- down 5%, 6%, and 7% respectively.

The Disney cable group fared the worst, with MoffettNathanson Research pointing to Nascar not airing on ESPN during the month. It lost 20% to average 1.0 million.

NBCUniversal sank 16% to 2.1 million due to lower ratings at USA, E! and Bravo. Viacom drifted down another double-digit percentage, 14% to 2.8 million; A+E Networks were 11% lower to 1.5 million.

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