Rivals Have No Shot at Unseating USA This Season

Comcast-NBCU net pounds out another summertime victory

Rounding out the top 10 were: Fox News Channel (1.83 million/428,000 adults 25-54, down 4 percent and 9 percent, respectively); A&E (1.57 million/826,000 adults 25-54, up 7/12 percent); ABC Family (flat at 1.57 million and up 3 percent with 18-49s with 707,000); FX (up 20 percent in prime to 1.46 million total viewers/776,000 viewers 18-49); Syfy (up 9 percent to 1.36 million, of which 637,000 were members of the 25-54 set) and Discovery Channel (down 9 percent to 1.31 million/733,000 adults 25-54).

The top 10 new original cable series among adults 18-49 were: Falling Skies (3.29 million viewers); Suits (2.63 million); Necessary Roughness (2.22 million); ABC Family’s Switched at Birth (1.87 million); Franklin & Bash (1.82 million); American Restoration (1.67 million); VH1’s Single Ladies (1.53 million); TLC’s Extreme Couponing (1.49 million); FX’ Wilfred (1.46 million) and Comedy Central’s Workaholics (1.43 million).

Seventeen of the top 40 ad-supported channels lost ground this summer, and of those, six experienced double-digit declines. Nick at Nite took the biggest hit of the season, falling 22 percent in prime time with an average delivery of 1.26 million viewers.

Also enduring double-digit declines were: TBS, which dropped 21 percent to 1.22 million total viewers; Lifetime (down 13 percent to 1.11 million viewers); Bravo (down 13 percent to 849,000); ESPN2 (down 13 percent to 468,000) and Hallmark Channel (down 11 percent to 687,000).

On the other side of the axis, 11 of the top 40 networks improved their prime time deliveries by 10 percent or more. The biggest ratings improvements were from Headline News, which beefed up its nightly audience by 90 percent to 881,000; Investigation Discovery, which surged ahead 71 percent (558,000); VH1, up 42 percent to 662,000 total viewers; History, up 38 percent to 2.26 million viewers; Disney XD, up 24 percent to 421,000; FX, up 20 percent to 1.46 million viewers; National Geographic Channel, up 20 percent to 456,000 viewers; Nick Jr., up 19 percent to 909,000; CNN, up 13 percent to 621,000; MTV, up 11 percent to 1.03 million and BET, up 10 percent to 936,000.

Through August 21, ad-supported cable accounted for 75 percent of all viewers 18-49, marking an all-time high. Broadcast’s demo deliveries fell 7 percent from a year ago. This summer marks cable’s twelfth consecutive win over its network rivals.