TV viewing is up this summer, particularly on cable, according to preliminary Nielsen figures compiled by Turner Broadcasting.
CBS was the top-rated broadcast network among persons adults 18 to 49 in primetime, and on cable, longtime No. 1 USA was given a run for its money by History, which came in second, thanks to a 33% gain from a year ago.
Overall, people watched 34.1 hours of TV per week during the summer, up from 33.9 hours a year ago, despite competition from other media. While live viewing remained the same at 31.7 hours, time-shifting rose to 2.4 hours from 2.2 hours.
Summertime has traditionally been a strong period for cable, as cable networks roll out their original shows and the broadcasters go mostly with reruns and reality. This summer, total viewing fell among the Big Four broadcast networks to 7.6 hours per week, while viewership of ad-supported cable rose to 17.1 hours from 16.6 hours.
Among viewers 18 to 49, NBC was the only broadcast network not to deliver fewer viewers than last year, registering a 2% gain. Combined, the Big Four were down 6% among that demo.
In cable, six of the top 10 networks were up among viewers 18 to 49, and combined grew 3%. Turner projects that ad-supported cable will finish this summer with a 75% share among viewers 18t o 49, up from 73% a year ago.
USA was the most-watched cable network among adults 18-49, followed by History, TNT, FX, A&E, TBS, Discovery, ABC Family, MTV and Comedy Central. In that group, the big gainers were History, up 33%; FX, up 18%; and MTV, up 10%. TBS was down 20% from a year ago, Discovery was down 11% and Comedy dropped 8%.