Entering the new TV season, October took a bite out of broadcast and cable TV network viewing -- with overall industry-wide double-digit percentage declines.
Prime-time TV viewership for broadcast and cable networks was down 11% to 24.2 million viewers among 18-49 viewers in the Nielsen C3 metric -- the average commercial minute rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing -- versus October 2016, per MoffettNathanson Research.
Broadcast networks were down 12% on average (to 8.8 million) and cable networks lost 10% (to 15.4 million). The results were similar in total day viewing -- with cable down 10% to 8.9 million viewers in the 18-49 C3 and broadcast losing 12% to 4.6 million.
CBS fared much better than other broadcast networks -- down just 1% in the month to 2.2 million for Nielsen prime-time 18-49 viewers in C3. NBC was next, losing 9% to 2.7 million -- still in the lead among the broadcast networks.
Fox and ABC both suffered greater double-digit percentage declines -- with Fox losing 21% to 2.4 million and ABC down 18% to 1.6 million.
Just a handful of cable TV entertainment networks posted gains: TV Land added an average 12,000 total day C3 18-49 viewers, while TNT was up 10,000 and ESPN earned 8,000 more, A&E saw a gain of 3,000, and Hallmark Channel was up 1,000.