New York -- The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau
predicted that basic-network cable's average primetime share for the first half of
1999 will top 41, nearly four points higher than first-half 1998.
For the first quarter, the CAB said, cable's share
rose 9.6 percent to 40, as broadcast fell nearly 7 percent to 54.5.
In addition, the CAB, in its analysis of fourth-quarter
primetime audience-delivery data from Nielsen Media Research, said the "Big
Three" broadcast networks have steadily declined since 1985, as have the "Big
Four" since Fox's addition in 1992.
The four-network delivery was 31.9 million homes in 1998,
down from 34.5 million in 1997, while basic cable's delivery was 22.1 million homes
last year, up from 19.4 million in 1997 (and from just 3.7 million in 1985).