CAB: Cable Has 'Championship Season'


Ad-supported cable not only drew almost one-half the primetime audience of
the seven broadcast networks, but also outdid them in virtually all the other
dayparts, the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau said Tuesday in releasing its
analysis of Nielsen Media Research ratings data for Sept. 23, 2002, through Aug.
24, 2003.

The basic-cable networks' average primetime household delivery of 31.2
million represented a 5.5% rise from the year-ago level, the CAB said, with
their aggregate rating of 29.3 rising 4.6% and their aggregate share of 49.3
gaining 3.6%.

Those ratings figures surpassed the combined figures for the seven broadcast
networks by 2.4 million households, 2.3 rating points and 3.9 share points,
respectively, the trade group said.

Basic cable's growth came from "virtually every gender/age demo," the CAB
added, noting that the 18- to 24-year-old demo segment saw the largest
percentage uptick. The seven broadcasters, meanwhile, saw collective erosion
among viewers aged 35 and up, the CAB said.

In nonprimetime dayparts, the CAB said weekend late-night and weekday early
morning posted the biggest percentage gains for ad-supported