Sweeps or no sweeps, basic cable continued to carve out double-digit
viewership growth last week in primetime.
Basic scored a 14.7 percent advance in collective household ratings to a 27.3
average during the week of May 6 through 12, from a 23.8 average in the
comparable period in 2001, according to a Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau
analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.
The medium also registered a 12.9 percent advance in share to a 46.3 last
week, while delivery expanded 18.2 percent to some 28.8 million households.
Meanwhile, the CAB analysis showed that the weighted gross average for the
seven broadcast networks declined 4.7 percent in primetime ratings to a 29.3
last week from a 30.7 in the second week of the May sweeps a year ago.
The broadcasters' share receded 6.1 percent to a 49.4, while delivery dipped
1.6 percent to 30.9 million households.
Last week, NBC, United Paramount Network and The WB Television Network posted
primetime ratings gains, while the other four broadcast networks sustained
ABC's was the most precipitous, dropping 22.1 percent to a 6.0 household
Basic cable's amelioration last week built on growth recorded during the
first week of the May sweeps period.
Between April 29 and May 5, basic cable scored a 12.9 percent rise in
primetime household ratings to a 27.1 average from a 24.0 the prior year. That
translated into an 11.3 percent increase in share to a 45.2 and 16.7 percent
higher delivery to an average of 28.6 million households.