Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Big Swings for Cable Ratings in Q1

Thirteen of ad-supported cable’s top 40 networks notched double-digit ratings gains in the first quarter of 2009, a period that was also marked by a few violent shifts in the other direction.

According to Nielsen ratings data for the three months ended March 29, while the first- and second-tier nets accounted for an aggregate 5.2 percent increase in nightly deliveries, a handful of networks sustained declines of 10 percent or more in prime.

The biggest average nightly audience belonged to USA Network followed by Fox News Channel, TNT and TBS. ABC Family also ranked in the top 10, up 16 percent to 1.41 million nightly viewers.

Also making great strides in Q1 09 were: Oxygen, which grew its nightly deliveries by 24 percent, averaging 444,000 viewers; Lifetime Movie Network (up 18 percent to 651,000) and SOAPnet (up 11 percent to 343,000).

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