Broadcast networks were down 3% to (10 million) and cable networks were off 4% to (17 million viewers) in prime time among key 18-49 viewers, according to MoffettNathanson Research.
This finding is in contrast to a 5% drop and an 8% drop, respectively, in October 2015.
Nielsen’s C3 ratings -- the average commercial minute ratings plus three days of time shifting -- are a key measure for national TV advertisers.
For broadcast networks, Fox helped drive the overall improvement, with more World Series games (and higher-rated programming) in the month. It was up 66% for the month to average 3.1 million 18-49 prime-time viewers.
By comparison, NBC was down 12% to 2.9 million, followed by CBS off 19% to 2.2 million and ABC losing 11% to 2 million. In total day 18-49 viewers, broadcast was down 6% to average 5.19 million, with cable losing 5% to 9.96 million.
Key cable networks that showed gains included CNN, growing by an average 126,000 in total day 18-49 viewers, Fox Sports 1, up 83,000; and Fox News Channel, adding 80,000 viewers; and Discovery’s ID channel, improving 23,000.
Looking at overall cable network groups, Fox cable networks grew 15% to average 884,000 total day 18-49 viewers; NBCUniversal added 1% to 1.13 million; and Scripps Network Interactive was down 1% to 614,000.
Viacom was down 4% to 2.0 million, while Time Warner also lost 4% to 1.8 million. Discovery was down 7% to 954,000; A+E Networks, off 9% to 654,000; Disney sank 18% to 803,000; and AMC Networks gave back 20% to 421,000.