Basic Holds Its Own in Week One


Basic cable showed improved performances during the first week of the 2003-04 TV season.

Ad-supported cable scored a 7% rise in ratings to a 30.6 average in primetime Sept. 15-21 and a 6.4% increase in share to a 51.6, according to a Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau analysis of Nielsen Media Research data. Cable’s delivery grew 8.7% to 33.1 million households.

By contrast, the seven broadcast networks, despite launching 19 fall series, lost ground last week. The weighted rating for the broadcasters dropped 5% to a 25.7, while their share and delivery declined 5.2% to a 43.4 and 3.5% to 27.9 million households, respectively.

All of the broadcasters suffered across-the-board erosion except CBS, which benefited from the season premiere of Survivor: Pearl Islands
, TV’s highest-rated show last week with a 12.4 national rating and some 21.5 million viewers Sept. 18.