Rough February C3 Ratings For Overall TV

Any hint of recovery for TV’s national C3 ratings were dashed in February -- with double-digit percentage declines in broadcast TV and mid- single digit drops in cable TV.

Broadcast networks sank a big 15% in February among total day 18-49 viewers to 4.44 million Nielsen C3 ratings -- the average commercial minute rating plus three days of time shifting, according to MoffettNathanson Research in analyzing Nielsen data.

Cable networks went backwards 6% to 10.91 million. Overall TV slipped 9%. Prime time was a bit better -- down 7% overall for 18-49 viewers -- broadcast falling 12% to 9.92 million and cable networks sinking 3% to 18.40 million.

In January, TV’s C3 ratings fell by 1% to 4%.

The Super Bowl factored strongly among individual network results this February. CBS, which had the game this year, climbed 83% in prime time to average 4.3 million in prime time 18-49 viewers. NBC, which had the game a year ago in February, dropped 63% to 1.5 million.

Fox was down 15% -- largely due to moving its big “Empire” series to a second quarter 2016 mid-season start from the first quarter a year ago. ABC dropped 17% to 2.2 million due to overall prime-time weakness.

The best cable network groups were Fox, up 4% to 1.5 million in prime time 18-49 viewers; Scripps Network Interactive, adding 3% to 1.2 million; and Time Warner, flat at 2.8 million.

The biggest cable losers were Disney, down 14% to 1.2 million prime time 18-49 viewers; Discovery, losing 11% to 1.9 million; and A+E Networks, off 9% to 1.5 million.

The best individual cable networks were VH1, up 41,000 C3 18-49 viewers; Fox News, adding 37,000; Nick at Nite, 25,000 higher; Nickelodeon, improving 20,000; and HGTV gaining 16,000.

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