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Cable Networks Record 6.8% Ratings Decline in July

20 Aug, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

NEW YORK – A new report by MoffettNathanson Research says top cable networks’ ratings continued a decline that began at the end of April – down 6.8 percent in July to 18.2 million viewers aged 18-49 in C3 ratings – the average commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifted data.

Broadcasters also dipped – 3.7 percent to 5.2 million viewers aged 18-49 in the C3 measure. Fox was down 12 percent to, while CBS was off 6 percent, and NBC slipped 2 percent. ABC gained 3 percent as a result of selected World Cup games.

In July, cable networks seeing improvements were: ESPN (10 percent); Food Network (2.3 percent); HGTV (4.6 percent); and AMC (2.0 percent).

Cable brands registering declines included: TNT (22.9 percent); TBS (14.7 percent); FX (16.5 percent); Fox News (4 percent); CNN (25.6 percent); MTV (19.0 percent); Nickelodeon (20.1 percent); TV Land (22.6 percent); ABC Family (6.5 percent); Discovery (down 16.5 percent); TLC (12.9 percent); Animal Planet (28.7 percent); and Nat Geo (4.5 percent).

Cable groups as a category also slipped in July. Discovery Networks were down 9 percent to 1.9 million among viewers aged 18-49 in C3; Viacom was also off 9 percent to 3.3 million; NBCUniversal sank 11 percent to 2.6 million; Time Warner dropped 17 percent to 2.7 million; and A&E gave back 20 percent to 1.7 million.

Cable groups with improvement included AMC networks, up 15 percent to 673,000 (thanks to Sundance Channel); Fox cable networks, which gained 12 percent to 1.4 million; Scripps Networks Interactive, which grew 2 percent to 1.2 million; and Disney, which inched up 1 percent to 1.3 million.

MediaPost News reports analysts say that the growth of digital media is also a factor in the declines.

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