Basic Cable Strong Through Sweeps


Basic cable isn't getting caught up in the November sweeps.

Halfway through the programming period in which broadcasters present strong
fare to help affiliates boost advertising rates, basic cable has scored a nearly
6 percent rise in primetime ratings, while broadcast has sustained an almost
double-digit loss, according to a Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau analysis of
Nielsen Media Research data.

From Oct. 31 through Nov. 17, the CAB said basic cable has averaged a 27.9
household rating in primetime, up 5.7 percent from the 26.4 average recorded
during the similar span a year ago -- Nov. 1 through 18, 2001.

That compared with a 31.0 weighted gross average for the seven broadcast
networks, a performance that was off 9.8 percent from the 34.4 recorded during
the corresponding span last year.

Relative to share, basic cable was ahead 6.8 percent to a 45.3 from a 42.4,
versus a 9.2 percent drop for the broadcasters to a 50.2 from a 55.3 in the
November 2001 sweeps period.

In terms of delivery, basic cable notched a 7.2 percent advance to 29.8
million households, while the broadcasters slipped 8.8 percent to some 33.1

During the most recent week -- Nov. 11 through 17 -- basic cable registered a
5.2 percent rise in primetime household ratings to a 28.3, versus a 4.1 percent
fall for the broadcasters to a 31.6 weighted gross average, according to the

Cable's share climbed 5.1 percent to a 45.6, while delivery grew 6.5 percent
to 30.2 million households, the best during the 2002-03 TV season to date.

Broadcast, on the other hand, endured a 4.5 percent share decline to a 50.9
for the week and a 3 percent decline in delivery to 33.8 million