C3 Ratings Register Big Drop in August - Broadcasting & Cable

C3 Ratings Register Big Drop in August

Cable networks show bigger declines than broadcast, analyst says.
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The ratings used to buy advertising time were down in August, putting continued pressure on ad revenue, according to a analyst report.

Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson Research has looked at the C3 ratings for August, and says that, like July, they’re not good, which means that after a slow second quarter, the third quarter is unlikely to show improvement.

Nathanson says that regardless of whether the lower ratings are the result of increased time shifting by consumers or whether there’s an issue in the way Nielsen is counting viewers, “third-quarter ratings trends are terrible and will lead to continued negative ad revisions for the group.”

For the broadcast network, August ratings were down 5.1%. Fox was down 18% and CBS was down 10%, while ABC and NBC were each up 1%.

Shockingly, according to Nathanson, the cable networks were down even more in the demo during primetime with a 9.8% drop. Networks owned by A+E were down 28%, AMC’s channels were down 18%. Discovery, NBCUniversal and Viacom all registered 16% drops. Time Warner’s networks were down 15% and Disney was off 6%. 21st Century Fox’s channels were up 24%, thanks in part to FXX’s Simpsons marathon, while Scripps Networks was flat.

Overall people in the 18 to 49 demo watching TV in prime time was down 8.8%, the biggest drop since the year following the London Summer Olympics, Nathanson says.

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