Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media North America said Friday in its
analysis of Nielsen Media Research's November sweeps ratings data through
mid-November that the basic-cable networks have outscored the broadcast networks
on nine nights, versus seven a year ago and two in 2000.
One each of those nine nights, cable attained a 50 percent primetime
household share or better, IM said.
Besides typically winning Friday and Saturday nights, basic cable also
"managed to split the viewing audience on one Tuesday night and on multiple
Sunday nights," the media-buying shop reported, adding, "This is a remarkable
achievement, since Sunday is usually regarded as one of the biggest programming
nights for broadcast television."
How is cable luring viewers from broadcast? "For adults 18 through 49, the
answer is simple: with sports and movies," IM said.
Looking at the primetime top 10 cable networks in adults 18 through 49 so far
this month, IM pointed out that Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, MTV:
Music Television and Lifetime Television offer the most original programming by
far, while USA Network, TBS Superstation, Sci Fi Channel and TNN: The National
Network offer the least.