USA Network returned to the top of the cable network heap in July, topping all basic
networks in total viewers for the month.
During the period of June 25 to July 29, the network rode strong performances from
returning series Burn Notice, Royal Pains and Suits — as well as a big ratings showing
for the 1,000th episode of WWE Monday Night Raw — to average the month’s basiccable
network best of 2.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen. USA’s July numbers,
however, were down a whopping 21% compared with the same period last year.
In fact, each of July’s top four networks posted year-over-year declines; in addition
to USA, TNT was down 7%, to 2.6 million viewers; Disney Channel dropped 5%,
to 2.6 million watchers; and History dipped 3%, to 2.1 million viewers. The month’s
fifth-place network, A&E — led by its freshman drama series Longmire — posted a
16% increase year over year.
Cable’s top networks may see similar declines in August as the industry goes headto-
head with NBC’s primetime coverage of the Olympics, which jumped off to a
record-breaking start last week.
On a total-day basis, Disney Channel averaged 2 million viewers, besting
Nickelodeon for its second consecutive monthly win, according to
CNN continued to struggle in July, falling 23% year-to-year with an
average of 489,000 viewers. Sister news network HLN fared worse,
dropping 68% of its audience from last July with an average of 320,000
watchers. Fox News led all cable news networks in July with 1.7 million
viewers, although the network posted a 5% decline.