Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media North America said in its
analysis of Nielsen Media Research's November sweeps ratings data through mid-November that the
basic-cable networks have outscored the broadcast networks on nine nights, versus seven
a year ago and two in 2000.
One each of those nine nights, cable attained a 50 percent prime time
household share or better, IM said.
Besides typically winning Friday and Saturday nights, basic cable also
"managed to split the viewing audience on one Tuesday night and on multiple
Sunday nights," the media-buying shop reported, adding, "This is a remarkable
achievement, since Sunday is usually regarded as one of the biggest programming
nights for broadcast television."
How is cable luring viewers from broadcast? "For adults 18 through 49, the answer is
simple: with sports and movies," the report by Initiative Media said.
Looking at the prime time top 10 cable networks in adults 18
through 49 so far this month, IM pointed out that Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, MTV: Music Television
and Lifetime Television offer the most original programming by far, while USA Network, TBS Superstation, Sci Fi Channel
and TNN: The National Network offer the least.