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.