Broadcasters Can’t Sweep Away Cable


Ad-supported cable’s primetime-metrics rise continued unabated during the first week of the November sweep.

Basic cable scored a 9.1% rise in household ratings to a collective 30.1 from Nov. 3-9. That was up from the 27.6 posted during the comparable week in 2002, according to a Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Cable also recorded a 9.5% rise in household share to 48.5 from a 44.3 Nov. 4-10, 2002, while its delivery improved 10.6% to 32.6 million households from 29.5 million.

These gains were contrasted by broadcast slippage during the first week of the November sweep -- a span in which the networks present higher-quality fare and specials aspiring to drive ratings and help local stations set higher advertising rates.

The seven broadcast networks saw their weighted average rating decline 2.6% to a 30.8 from a 31.6, as their share decreased 2% from a 50.4 to a 49.4. On the delivery front, the seven networks sustained a 1% hit to 33.4 million households from 33.7 million, according to the CAB analysis.

All of the broadcasters except CBS (ahead 7.5% to a 10.0) and ABC (unchanged at a 6.7 average) sustained ratings erosion during the first November sweep week.