TV ratings had their biggest primetime drop of the year during July using C3 ratings, the measure used for buying and selling commercials.
According to an analysis of Nielsen data by Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson Research, both broadcast and cable lost 7% in prime among adults 18 to 49. For total day, ratings were down 9% for broadcast and down 4% for cable, which adds up to a 5% drop.
Nathanson noted that the July decline followed three months of relatively flat ratings in primetime, and that August’s figures will be impacted by the Olympics. Ratings for the Olympics are down on linear TV which digital viewing has increased for NBC.
"Looking at just primetime cable trends, after two years of steady declines, ratings have recovered with low-single digit to flat Y/Y growth,” Nathanson said in a note. “However, July proved to be the single worst month of 2016, despite relatively easy compares. We will continue to monitor the weekly ratings to see whether or not July’s performance was anomalistic in nature or the beginning of a broader trend.”