Cable Widens Total-Hours Viewing Edge


The average number of hours cable households spent watching basic cable
within that universe climbed 11% in the first quarter to 35.3 from 31.8 in the
corresponding year-earlier period, according to a Cabletelevision Advertising
Bureau analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

That performance lifted basic cable to a 56 share, up from a 54 in
first-quarter 2002.

The seven broadcast networks, meanwhile, saw their aggregate share decline to
44 during the first quarter from 46 a year ago, as the hours viewers in cable
households spent watching that medium decreased to 27.3 from 27.6.

The 3.5-hour increase between the 2002 and 2003 quarters is the largest since
the CAB began tracking the data in 1999. Since that year, basic-cable viewing
hours within cable households has jumped 29%.