Cable Climbs, Broadcast Falls in Primetime


Basic cable notched a nearly 3 percent gain in household ratings last week,
while the seven broadcast networks saw their weighted gross average decline by
more than 5 percent.

According to a Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau analysis of Nielsen Media
Research data, basic cable's household rating averaged a 28.1 during the week of
Nov. 26 through Dec. 2, up 2.9 percent from its 27.3 average in the
corresponding week last year (Nov. 27 through Dec. 3, 2000).

That performance translated into a 5.1 percent share gain to 45.2 from a 43.0
and a 6.2 percent rise in delivery to nearly 29.7 million households versus 27.9
million in the year-ago span.

For their part, the seven broadcast networks posted a 5.6 percent drop in
weighted gross average to a 32.5 rating last week from a 34.4 in the
corresponding span last year, according to the CAB analysis.

The seven networks saw their collective share decline 4.1 percent to a 52.1,
while their delivery slipped 2.6 percent to 34.3 million households.

Individually, the CAB's analysis showed that ABC (off 16.3 percent to a 7.7
household average), The WB Television Network (a 10.3 percent decline to a 2.6)
and Pax TV (a 10 percent decrease to a 0.9) all sustained double-digit household
erosion, while Fox fell 6.8 percent to a 5.5 household average.

NBC (an 8.2 rating) and United Paramount Network (a 3.0) were flat last week
when gauged against the prior-year period.

Only CBS scored an increase in households during the period in question -- a
3.6 percent advance to an 8.6 average.