The first 18 weeks of the season has been kind to the cablers and rough on the broadcast networks, according to new ratings analysis released today by the CableTelevision Advertising Bureau today.
According to the organization, cable ratings in primetime on the key advertiser demo of 18-49 grew by 5.1%, while broadcast shrank by 8.3% on Nielsen Media Research live-plus-same day numbers. In the 25-54 category, the change over last year is even bigger with ad supported cable growing 6.9% and broadcast shrinking 6.5%. The research now being shopped to ad agencies, suggests the most substantial shifts are occurring on what the CAB termed “retail-critical,” nights of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Another potential factor for the poor showing was that the networks had a poor fall and are launching more of their better performing shows in January. Commercial ratings known as C3, are the currency of the business, though many people look at live plus same day data to analyze historical trends. Cunningham said cable did well on which ever set of data was used, even live plus seven (where shows played back over the course of seven days are taken into account).