Turner’s Wakshlag: Cable to Top B’cast for Season

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New York -- Odds are that for the first time ever, cable will beat the broadcast networks in terms of primetime share for a full season, the top research official for Turner Broadcasting System Inc. said Wednesday.

Season to date, ad-supported cable has a 49.4 share, already tracking ahead of the seven broadcast networks with their 47.9, according to Nielsen Media Research data supplied by Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer for TBS Inc., at a press briefing here on first-quarter ratings.

For the full season, he is projecting that cable will end up with a 50.1 share, versus 47.3 for broadcast.

During his presentation, Wakshlag said TBS Superstation and Turner Network Television are both about to break basic-cable records in terms of delivery of several demographics for the first quarter, which ends Sunday.

TBS is tracking to post 330,000 persons 18-34, which would be a new record in that demographic, while TNT is pacing to rack up 710,000 persons 25-54, a delivery record in that age group.

According to Nielsen data cited by Turner, Cable News Network and CNN Headline News attract more light TV viewers -- an affluent and educated group -- than all-news rivals Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNBC.