Via press release:
All NBC Universal Cable Nets – News and Entertainment – Show Significant Year Over Year Ratings Growth During First Weeks of Broadcast Season
NBC Universal Cable Networks Responsible for 34 Per Cent of Cable Market Growth in A18-49 Impressions
NEW YORK – October 20, 2008 – The cable networks of NBC Universal, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, Oxygen, Sci Fi and USA, all showed strong year over year ratings growth during the start of the broadcast television season (September 24th through October 14th) in both A18-49 and A25-54. While cable television (non-premium) saw increased impressions year-over-year in prime for the period (up 14 per cent in A18-49 and up 17 per cent in A25-54), the networks of NBC Universal alone were responsible for 34 per cent of the overall growth in A18-49 and 31 per cent of the overall growth in A25-54.
For the first weeks of the broadcast season in prime, Bravo is the fastest growing top 25 ad supported cable entertainment network among A18-49, with gains of 66 percent vs. the same time period a year ago. The network currently ranks No. 15 among all ad supported cable entertainment networks and its programming continues to post unprecedented season-over-season gains for every original franchise. The fifth season of the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning "Project Runway" became the series' highest rated ever in all key demos and its season finale was the No. 1 cable entertainment telecast of the day. Season-to-date thru seven episodes, "Top Design" boasts double-digit growth in every key demographic, up 73 percent among adults 18-49 and 67 percent among total viewers compared to its first cycle. The network's latest hit docu-drama, "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," surpassed the one million viewer mark in only its second episode, up 98 percent in adults 18-49 and up 80 percent in total viewers versus the prior week's series premiere.
CNBC posted a 28 per cent gain over the same period last year - fueled by its critically acclaimed coverage of the economic crisis. CNBC has been at the pulse of the financial crisis with continuous extended live coverage making good on its brand promise to viewers, users and customers to be "First in Business Worldwide. " In addition, CNBC introduced a new hour of personal finance in primetime, "On the Money," quenching a thirst people have for more information and guidance through these turbulent times. Although CNBC's core viewership is based in Business Day, its primetime ratings growth proves viewers continue to turn to CNBC for analysis, information and data anytime and all the time.
On MSNBC, the increase in primetime was an extraordinary 191 percent over the same period last year. The continued success of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" was a key driver for MSNBC in the first weeks of the season. In addition, the unprecedented launch of "The Rachel Maddow Show" topped CNN's "Larry King" for ten of its first 23 outings. MSNBC ranks second in all of cable for year-to-year growth in the A25-54 demo.
Oxygen has seen growth in prime among key network demos during the opening weeks of the broadcast season compared to the same weeks year-ago, with six out the seven nights of the week posting gains. The network improved +37 per cent in W18-49, +32 per cent in A18-49, and +32 per cent in total viewers in prime. Against aggressive broadcast programming, Monday nights improved 78 per cent in W18-49, +98 per cent for A18-49 and +53 per cent for total viewers. Oxygen's Tuesday night lineup, anchored by "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency," has gained substantially for the first three weeks of the broadcast season (+22 per cent in W18-49, +30 per cent in A18-49 and +57 per cent in total viewers).
Sci Fi's year to year growth is up 14 per cent in A18-49 and up 23 per cent in A25-54 and up 28 per cent in W18-49 and up 31 per cent in W25-54. "Ghost Hunters" and "Destination Truth" set series-high numbers in both total viewers and key demoraphics for both hit shows this fall. Original drama, "Sanctuary," was the best scripted series launch since "Eureka" in 2006.
USA is up 24 per cent in A18-49 and up 21 per cent in A25-54 in prime vs. last year during the same period. "House" is off to a great start on USA and has proven to be a ratings success. On Sunday nights, the network has seen a ratings first with its "House" stack delivering the highest ratings in the net's history for a regularly scheduled off-network series (up 53 per cent in A18-49, averaging 1.75MM impressions). Additionally, "House" is out-performing many original series on cable including "The Shield," "The Cleaner," "Raising the Bar" and "Mad Men," by significant margins.
NBC Universal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.