Time-shifted viewing broadcast numbers best cable’s top shows


TVB / Television Bureau of AdvertisingSo says a TVB analysis of ratings for the first week of the 2012/13 broadcast season: the time-shifted portion of broadcast television’s same-day Top 20 fall premieres outpaced the total audience (live + same day) of the majority of cable’s highest-rated original summer programming.

For the last several years, cable has attracted its peak audiences during the summer programming season as broadcast networks traditionally program reruns during this period.  However, Nielsen data, as analyzed by the TVB, indicates that this trend changed in the summer 2012 season.

Ad-supported cable posted YOY decreases in Primetime across Households, Persons 2+ and Adults 25-54 in both the summer and regular season of 2011/12.  On a Household basis, decreases were more significant during the regular season (-4%) than in the summer (-2.6%), which demonstrated that the Summer Olympics on broadcast television was not the only factor in the recorded declines.

Additional findings of the TVB analysis:

— Cable’s summer premiere season yielded mixed results with all major programmers showing declines among their returning series (ranging from a decline of 1% on A&E and AMC to a decline of 23% on USA) and only a few networks introduced new programming that was as strong as the performance of their returning series (AMC: 102 Index; History:129 Index; TBS:123 Index).

— Within summer cable’s 2012 original season, broadcast television commanded 94% of all A25-54 GRPs among the Top 100 telecasts.  The broadcast dominance was not an outcome related to the ratings strength of the July/August Summer Olympics broadcast television programming as the percentage of GRPs rose to 96% when all sports programming was excluded from the rankings.

— In a comparison of the Top 50 summer cable originals versus summer repeats on broadcast television, repeat programming on broadcast television occupied the majority of the Top 100 ranked programs of the summer, whereas original programming on cable dominated the bottom half of the Top 200.

— Among all telecasts this summer, cable originals landed one position in the Top 100 and 32 positions in the Top 500.  The 50th ranked cable original series placed 614th among all telecasts in the summer season.

Cable networks have moved over the last several years to introduce high-profile original series during the summer at a time when broadcast television networks are primarily offering repeat programming, noted TVB.

However, the audience for broadcast television in the summer season continues to significantly dwarf the audience for cable television’s first run programming which includes a number of critically acclaimed series.

Said Steve Lanzano, TVB CEO: “Understanding where viewership happens is a critical consideration toward determining the success or failure of an overall marketing plan and that viewership is definitively and materially biased toward broadcast television.”