Broadcast C3 Ratings Flat, Cable Nets Down 3%

Fourth-quarter 2016 TV network ratings sank 3% among 18-49 viewers in prime time, looking at Nielsen C3 ratings -- with broadcast doing better than cable.

Broadcast network C3 ratings -- the average commercial minute ratings plus three days of time shifting -- was flat versus the same period a year before, according to analysis from Bernstein Research of Nielsen data. Non-kids cable networks were down 3%.

NBC was up 4% during the period -- benefiting from new NFL “Thursday Night Football” games -- as well as a top-rated new show, “This Is Us."

Fox was up a big 37%, given audience viewing for World Series games. However, without it, Todd Juenger of Bernstein Research says Fox would have been down year to year.

CBS was down 19%. It had fewer "Thursday Night Football" games -- but it also had the best-performing shows when looking at live program plus seven days metric, down 10%. ABC was down 11%.

Looking at TV network groups as a whole in C3 prime-time viewing, 21st Century Fox was up 10% -- Fox News Channel grew 75% because of the big political season, FXX gained 3%. A+E Network was flat, with Lifetime and A&E were each up 6%; History was down 9%.



NBCUniversal down 1%; gaining because of MSNBC, up 114%; USA Network added 5%.

Disney was a big loser down 17% because of lower ESPN numbers -- losing 15% and Freeform, sinking 22%. AMC Networks was down 7%. “The Walking Dead” debuted two week later than a year before.

Time Warner was gave up 6% -- CNN was up 60% and TBS was down 19% TNT slipped 2%; its NBA games did higher numbers. Discovery was down 4%; Viacom off 5%.

Cable kids networks lost 8% among 2-11 in Nielsen C3 metric. Disney XD sinking 29%; Cartoon Network, down 13% and Nickelodeon, off 7%. Only Nick Jr. eked out a gain -- 1%.

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