Basic cable nipped at broadcast's heels during the third week of the February sweep period.
Ad-supported cable posted a 48 share in primetime Feb. 16-22, according to a Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau analysis of Nielsen Media Research data, a 9.6% rise from the 43.8 share the industry registered for the corresponding week the prior year, Feb. 17-23, 2003.
As for the seven broadcast networks, they combined to grab a 48.9 share last week, down 7.2% from 52.7 the prior year.
Relative to household ratings, ad-supported cable scored a 7.2% gain to a 29.8, while the seven broadcast outlets lost 9.4% to a 30.6 average.
On the delivery side, cable closed the gap to 32.4 million homes versus 33.1 million for broadcast. Those performances represented an 8.9% advance and an 8% decline from their respective totals in the year-earlier span.