For the second year in a row, TV networks witnessed another double-digit percentage viewing decline for November -- still one of TV’s big periods for new season programming.
November lost a collective 12% for all TV networks -- broadcast and cable -- in prime time to average 20.8 million prime time C3 18-49 viewers, according to MoffettNathanson Research analysis of Nielsen data. Total day C3 18-49 viewership was down 11% to 12.4 million viewers.
Nielsen C3 data is the average commercial minute rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing. A year ago, all TV networks were down 11% in prime-time viewing.
In prime time this year, broadcast networks were down 13%, while cable lost 12%. In total day viewing, broadcast lost 10% and cable fell 12%.
The only silver lining for traditional TV programming comes from the NFL, which has returned to growth versus losses of a year ago. Total NFL game programming is up 5% through November -- halfway through the season -- averaging about 16.1 million viewers.
Looking specifically at individual NFL packages, ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” is up 8% to 11.6 million; NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” is 7% higher to 19.3 million; Sunday afternoon games on CBS and Fox are collectively 2% more to 16.5 million; and Fox’s “Thursday Night Football” inched up 1% to 14.3 million.
In November, Disney cable networks -- thanks to higher ESPN ratings overall -- was the only cable group to see gains, up 4% in the month. Discovery lost 10% while Fox was down 11%, NBC slipped 14% and Viacom and WarnerMedia each were down 15%.
Among individual broadcast networks, NBC was down 9%, while CBS lost 11%, Fox fell 18%, and ABC sank 19%.