C3 Ratings Fell 4% During October

Broadcast shows primetime gain versus September

TV viewership was relatively stable in October as measured by the C3 ratings used to buy and sell advertising, according to an analysis by Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson Research.

C3 primetime ratings were down 4% in the month, with broadcast off 3% and cable slipping 4%. Compared to September, broadcast ratings were up slightly and flat for cable. That followed a spike in viewing in August, when the Olympics were on the air.

Nathanson, in a research note, wonders what effect the presidential election had on viewing. Looking back on 2012, he notes that ratings for November grew from October.

Among individual broadcast networks, Fox was up 66% from last year, boosted by a World Series that had higher ratings and more games within the month than a year ago. The other networks were down, with CBS posting the biggest decline.

Similarly, 21 Century Fox’s cable networks were up, getting a boost from post-season baseball on FS1, as well as election coverage on Fox News. NBCUniversal was flat. The other cable networks were down, with Disney and AMC posting the largest drops.

Among individual networks the biggest gainers in total day were CNN, FS1 and Fox News. Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Hallmark Channel, HGTV and Nick at Nite also were up. AMC and ESPN were the biggest decliners.