Basic Resumes Double-Digit Growth


With the Winter Olympic Games in the rear-view mirror, basic cable returned
to double-digit viewership gains last week.

The medium notched a 10.2 percent increase to a collective 28.2 average in
primetime Feb. 25 through March 3, compared with a 25.6 average during the Feb.
26 through March 4 span last year, according to a Cabletelevision Advertising
Bureau analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Basic cable's share climbed 10.9 to 45.6 last week from 41.1 the year before.
That performance translated into a 13.9 percent rise in delivery to an average
of 29.8 million homes from 26.1 million.

During the full two weeks of NBC's coverage of the Salt Lake City Games --
Feb. 11 through 17 and 18 through 24 -- basic cable managed 2.8 percent and 1.6
percent increases to 25.5 and 24.8 collective primetime ratings averages,

Last week, the seven broadcast networks saw their weighted gross average drop
4.5 percent to a 31.0 rating from a 32.4 the year before, according to the CAB