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Ratings Woes For Top Basic Cable Nets

The top tier of basic cable networks took a hit in November with only two of the bigs -- TBS and MTV - showing any real household ratings gains in the Oct.29 to Nov. 25 period, according to a Disney ABC Cable Networks analysis of Nielsen research. Of the 15 networks in or sharing a place in the top 10 for Nielsen's November period, only six advanced, while seven were down and six were flat.

While ESPN finished first with a 2.3 household average in prime time, helped by football, that is down 12% from last November. Disney Channel was No. 2 with a 2.2 just 0.1 point ahead of USA Network, with the latter holding steady with year-earlier numbers. Fourth-ranked TNT was down 12% to a 1.5 while sibling TBS gained 8% to a 1.4. Fox News Channel was flat while Nick at Nite and Hallmark Channel both pulled a 1.2 average. In the 1.0 realm, MTV was up 25%,the only gainer in the group that includes FX, Spike TV and Court TV (all flat)and Cartoon Network and A&E Network (both down 17%).

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