National TV C3 Impressions Decline In January, Slight Increase In Prime Time

U.S. national TV in January witnessed a sharp decline in total day commercial ratings points -- but rose slightly in prime time.

Pivotal Research Group says total national C3 commercial impressions -- average commercial minute ratings plus three days of time-shifted viewing -- fell 5.8% last month among adult 18-49 viewers, but climbed 1.7% in prime time.

National TV advertising loads -- which contribute to these results -- increased slightly to average 10.5 minutes/hour versus 10.4 in January 2016.

Viacom posted the largest share of C3 impressions among all TV network groups with a 15.5% in adults 18-49 share, up from 15.2% a year ago -- the highest by a slight margin among all national media owners. Viacom’s Nickelodeon, TV Land, and CMT also had gains.



Viacom’s advertising loads remained the highest of any TV Network group but were unchanged versus a year ago, at 14.3 minutes per hour.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal’s C3 impressions share dropped to a 14.2% from 14.9%, with ad loads virtually flat at 11.1 minutes per hour. Time Warner sank in C3 ratings to an 11% share from 11.5%, and its average advertising loads tightened to 8.4 minutes/hour from 8.6 minutes. Fox's share of C3 viewing rose to 10% from 9.3% -- with its ad loads now at 10 minutes/per hour, down slightly.

Walt Disney was flat at a 9.4% C3 share. Versus other TV network groups, it had a slight rise in advertising load to 7.7 minutes/hour, from 7.5 minutes.

Discovery also climbed in C3, to a 6.9% share from 5.9%. Pivotal says some of this can be attributed to higher advertising loads, at 9.6 minutes of national ad time per hour, up from 9.3 minutes -- “but generally up because of broad-based programming improvements,” writes Brian Wieser, senior research analyst.                             

CBS sank to a 6.3% C3 share from 7.3% -- largely because of fewer NFL games. Its ad load was 7.3 minutes/hour.

Scripps and AMC Networks were flat with C3 ratings -- at a 5.2% share and a 3.5% share, respectively. Scripps' ad load was at 12.9 minutes/hour; AMC, 12.6 minutes/hour.

3 comments about "National TV C3 Impressions Decline In January, Slight Increase In Prime Time".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 22, 2017 at 4:17 p.m.

    Wayne, it strikes me as very strange to note the disparity in hourly "ad loads" between CBS---extremely low ( 7 minutes per hour ) and the other broadcast TV networks which are averaging over 10 minutes per hour. In fact, the reported CBS levels, which were equally low last year, look like figures we might have seen many years ago---but not today. and I believe that something may be amiss with these calculations.I assume that these figures represent in-program, not local station station break ads but, still, why the huge difference? Is Brian deriving these stats in some unusual manner? Are they accurate?

  2. Darrin Stephens from McMann & Tate, February 24, 2017 at 11:59 a.m.

    The CBS ad load numbers indeed look low. I looked at the full report and couldn't figure out which networks are included in the average, but I presume CBS, CBS Sports Network and POP. I presume non-commercial Smithsonian and various Showtime channels are excluded.

    For what it's worth CBS airs about 11 minute of national ads an hour in primetime.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 24, 2017 at 3:27 p.m.

    I wonder, also whether the ad load stats take into account the relative size, audience-wise---of the various channels involved. For example if the CBS TV network averages 10 million viewers per minute and has an ad load of 11 minutes per hour while while another CBS entity reached 100,000 people per minute with an ad load of only 5 minutes per hour is the average calculated as 8 minutes per hour, giving each channel equal weight or shouldn't it be almost 11 minutes, as the CBS network component attracts just about all of the viewers?

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