CAB: Strong Primetime Week for Basic


Basic cable swept past the seven broadcast networks last week during primetime in three key viewership metrics.

Ad-supported cable averaged a 29.9 rating from Oct. 27-Nov. 2 -- the week bridging the end of Nielsen Media Research‘s October month and the start of the November sweep. That marked a 7.6% increase from the 27.8 the industry registered in the comparable week the year before, Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2002, according to a Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau analysis on Nielsen data.

Gauged on a share basis, ad-supported cable garnered a 48.9, an 8.2% improvement from last year’s 45.2. The medium’s household delivery grew 9.2% to 32.38 million households from 29.66 million.

For their part, the seven broadcast networks sustained a 3% drop in weighted-gross-ratings average to a 29.8 from a 30.7 during the prior-year period, according to the CAB analysis. The seven networks saw their collective primetime share decline 2.4 to a 48.5 from a 49.7, while their delivery slipped 1.5% to 32.28 million households versus 32.76 million in the 2002 period.

All of the networks suffered declines except CBS, which saw its ratings grow 7.1% to a 9.0, its share increase 8% to a 14.8 and its delivery expand 8.8% to 9.79 million households on average. UPN matched its rating for the week with a 2.7.