With the 2002-03 primetime television season now behind them, the six
broadcast networks have fallen behind cable (in aggregate) in the Nielsen Media
Research household ratings, but MAGNA Global USA pointed out that the
broadcasters still maintain "a safe lead" over basic cable in demographics.
Interpublic Group of Cos.' mega-media-buying firm also said that
individually, the ad-supported cable networks "don't pack a lot of punch," while
acknowledging, "As a whole, they are a substantial force."
In the broadcasters' coming summer season, MAGNA said, "there are more
programs being introduced than ever before," most of them in the reality genre
and mostly on NBC -- "only a few scripted shows [will be] thrown into the
In its analysis of the second postseason week ending June 8, MAGNA said, NBC
had in that span regained first place among adults 18-49, while Fox held onto
the persons 12-34 lead.
The firm's analysis also noted that premium cable channels' combined
household ratings for that week were flat versus a year ago at 3.5, with slight
dips among persons 12-34 (0.1% to 2.0) and adults 18-49 (0.1% to 2.3).
The premium networks posted a slight uptick of 0.1% to a 2.0 rating among
adults 50-plus, however.