Cable Stands Up to the Games


High-profile cable programming held its own in primetime against NBC's
presentation of the Olympic Games last week.

TNN: The National Network's coverage of World Wrestling Federation
Entertainment Inc. fare, Lifetime Television's Sunday-night dramas, a
Nickelodeon telefilm based on its Rocket Power series and USA Network's
presentation of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show all generated significant
ratings during the week spanning Feb. 11 through 17.

WWF action pinned a 4.6 household average Feb. 11 from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.,
while the preceding hour's 4.2 average was the second-highest-rated basic-cable
show of the week, according to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of
Nielsen Media Research data.

Race Across New Zealand, the film based on Nick series Rocket
, averaged a 3.6 household rating from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 16.

Lifetime's Feb. 17 installment of The Division tied the Nick flick for
third for the week. That performance marked the highest-ever household rating
for a Lifetime original series.

USA's second night of the Westminster Dog Show scratched out a 3.5 average
Feb. 12, good for fifth place for the week, while its coverage the night before
ranked ninth with a 3.3.

That was matched by Lifetime's Strong Medicine (the skein's
highest-rated episode of the season) Feb. 17, while MTV: Music Television's
Real World XI installment Feb. 12 produced a 3.2 household rating.

On a network basis, Lifetime's strength Sunday night helped it to capture the
primetime crown for the week with a 2.2 household average, ahead of USA's 2.0.
Nick and Turner Network Television were tied for third at a 1.7, besting the 1.6
registered by both Cartoon Network and TBS Superstation.

Rounding out the top 10: A&E Network and Fox News Channel at a 1.1;
Discovery Channel with a 1.0; and TNN at a 0.9.

On a total-day basis, Nickelodeon was first with a 1.5 average, followed by
Lifetime (1.3), Cartoon (1.1), TBS and TNT (both with 1.0).

As for adult demos, TBS was first among the 18-through-34 set, averaging
523,000 of those viewers for the week, according to the Turner analysis.

USA, aided by its Dog Show airings, led the way among adults 18 through 49
and 25 through 54 with 1.13 million and 1.27 million of those watchers,

The Learning Channel's Trading Spaces special Feb. 16 and 17 played
big across all three adult demo groups, while TBS' coverage of the Feb. 12
National Basketball Association game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Michael
Jordan's Washington Wizards dunked the network's best numbers among adults 18
through 34 (1.04 million) and 18 through 49 (1.87 million) for a late (10:30
p.m. EST) NBA game in three years.

That mark was extended to six years among the older adult set (1.72