Ad-supported cable fell just short of recording a 50 share in primetime
during the 2002-03 TV season.
The medium finished with a 49.6 share from Sept. 23, 2002, through Sept. 14,
2003, according to a Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau analysis of Nielsen
Media Research data.
That’s a 3.8% increase from the 47.8 share recorded by the industry during
the 2001-02 TV season -- the first time ad-supported cable surpassed the seven
broadcasters in season share.
For their part, the seven networks averaged a 45.0 share during the recently
completed season, a 3.8% decline from 46.8 in the 2001-02 season.
From a ratings perspective, basic cable saw its primetime mark grow 4.3% to a
29.4 average in the 2002-03 season, up from a 28.2 the prior year. The
broadcasters, meanwhile, sustained a 3.2% drop to a collective 26.7 ratings
average from a 27.6 the season before.
On a household basis, CBS (a 1.4% increase to a 7.4), Fox (a 3.8% gain to a
5.4) and UPN (ahead 4.5% to a 2.3) all posted advances. Conversely, NBC (off
10.3% to a 7.0), The WB Television Network (down 8.3% to a 2.2) and Pax TV (an
11.1% decline to a 0.8) registered decreases. ABC was unchanged at a 5.6 rating
for the season, according to the CAB.
Gauged on a delivery basis, ad-supported cable increased 5.6% to some 31.4
million households on average in primetime, versus a 2.1% drop to 28.5 million
for the seven broadcasters.