Thursday, October 29, 2009

In direct comparison to 2008 ratings, cable’s fall shows are losing viewers

Many factors affect how much and what kind of medium is consumed by an audience.

As the fall lineup on network television is getting settled into its schedule, cable shows are working to grab larger audiences. However, the Horizon Media analysis of broadcast premiere-week ratings, which began on September 14th, shows that ad-supported cable viewership declined from 53.1 million in 2008 to 49.9 million in 2009.

Broadcasting & Cable reports that these findings are slightly skewed due to two major events last year that affected the ratings. The first was the presidential election campaign. In fact, it was the same week last year in which Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was announced as the vice presidential nominee for the Republican Party.

The second event that affected the 2008 viewership was the economic crash. The article explains “when you account for the unusually high viewing numbers for MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and CNBC during 2008’s premiere week (6.8 million viewers), viewing levels for ad-supported cable are about even from last year.”

Some networks had double-digit drops in viewership compared to last September. These networks include Lifetime (down 25%), TNT (down 24%) and TBS (down 13%).

In contrast, the Food Network (up 26%), A&E (up 14%) and TLC (up 12%) all increased since the same time period last year.

Even though recent reports show that cable viewership has declined since last year, it is imperative to recognize that the social, economical and political landscape of the country can affect the results.

Be sure to visit Ruth Burke & Associates’ blog to find the latest in media news and receive helpful tips to make your advertising campaign successful...

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