Broadcast networks continue to lose ground versus ad-supported cable networks in analyzing one broad measure of program ratings.
For the traditional prime-time season — September to May — collective 18-49 rating points for the broadcasters were down 8% in 2012-2013 to land at a 9.4 rating total. Ad-supported cable networks were flat against year-ago results, totalling a 18.9 rating. These were the results for live program plus seven days of time-shifted (L7) Nielsen results as analyzed by Turner Research.
CBS was the top broadcast network for the entire season among 18-49 viewers in L7 results, much the way it was in other Nielsen metrics. CBS was at a 2.9 rating — down 3% — while Fox was in second place at 2.5, down 22% versus a year ago.
The improved NBC was a tick behind — one-tenth of a rating point at a 2.4 18-49 rating — down 4% against a year ago. ABC was just behind NBC at a 2.3 rating, 8% below last year’s results.
For the most recent second-quarter period, broadcasters were down 8% to total a 7.3 rating among 18-49 viewers, with ad-supported cable slipping 3% to reach a 17.6 collective rating. Here, the broadcast race was tighter than for the season overall. CBS and ABC were both at 2.0 — with CBS up 5% and ABC, down 9%. Fox and NBC were tied at a 1.9 rating — with Fox down 24% and NBC down 10%.
TNT was tops among basic cable networks in the second quarter of 2012 at 2.661 million total viewers, up 4% — just beating out USA Network, which was at 2.65. USA was down 7%. Disney Channel was at 2.39 million, up 2%. Next was History — at 2.02 million, down 21% — and Fox News Channel with a 1.89 million average, up 8%.
Source: MediaPost Publications, 6/27/13