While General Electric’s overall third quarter profit dropped 23%, sales income at NBCU gained nearly 10% last quarter. Much of that is due to the division’s cable networks including CNBC and MSNBC. In a press release sent out this morning, executives from the networks talked about the growth, despite (or perhaps because of) the financial crisis and faltering economy.
Said CNBC president Mark Hoffman, “We delivered business news, data and analysis in real-time to viewers and users on multiple platforms all over the world while offering our clients unmatched customized advertising solutions that reach the most educated and affluent audience on TV.”
MSNBC president Phil Griffin added, “This is an exciting time at MSNBC, as we’ve experienced historic growth. We’ve had incredible performance this quarter and the addition of Rachel Maddow has solidified our primetime schedule.”
USA, Bravo, Oxygen and Sci Fi also get shout-outs in the press release, after the jump…
NBC UNIVERSAL CABLE HAD RECORD-BREAKING 3Q 2008
Every Network – Both News and Entertainment – Broke Ratings Records
MSNBC is Fastest Growing in All of Cable; CNBC Posts Best-Ever Third Quarter
Oxygen and Bravo are The Fastest Growing Top 30 Ad-Supported Cable Entertainment Networks Among Women 18-49 in Prime
USA Number 1 in Key Demos, Sci Fi Number 5 For P25-54 Among All Cable Entertainment Nets
NEW YORK – October 13, 2008 – The cable networks of NBC Universal – Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, Oxygen, Sci Fi and USA – all broke ratings records in the third quarter of 2008. Year over year ratings growth soared on MSNBC (up 48 per cent P2+) and Oxygen (up 47 per cent P18-49), with all nets showing strong ratings growth. The news and entertainment networks reached a combined audience of nearly 222 million viewers (P2+), accounting for 88 per cent of all persons (P2+) in U.S. cable television households.
“We are incredibly pleased with the performance of the Cable Entertainment group,” said Jeff Gaspin, President and COO, Universal Television Group. “Growth like this is remarkable when it happens for a short period, but to sustain it for as long as we have is a testament to the extraordinary teams we have in place and the strength of our content.”
“This is an exciting time at MSNBC, as we’ve experienced historic growth,” said Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC. “We’ve had incredible performance this quarter and the addition of Rachel Maddow has solidified our primetime schedule.”
“CNBC had its best third quarter ever” said Mark Hoffman, President of CNBC. “We delivered business news, data and analysis in real-time to viewers and users on multiple platforms all over the world while offering our clients unmatched customized advertising solutions that reach the most educated and affluent audience on TV.”
On the news and information networks, CNBC had its best-ever 3Q delivery for Business Day (M-F 5AM – 7PM) in total viewers up +26% from 3Q 07 and its best overall quarter since 1Q 01. In adults 25-54, Business Day was up +19% from 3Q 07, with the net’s best 3Q since 2000 and its best overall quarter since 1Q 07. Prime had its best 3Q in total viewers since 2002, up +15% over 3Q 07 (144,000). The M-F Prime (M-F 7P-2A) was up +11% over 3Q 07 in adults 25-54, with its best 3Q since 2001. Weekend programming was strong as well with Saturday Prime (M-F 7PM -2AM), was up +22% over 3Q 07 in adults 25-54 and 30% in total viewers while Sunday Prime up +67% in adults 25-54 over 3Q 07 and 57% in total viewers.
In 3Q, MSNBC was the fastest growing network in all of cable, up 48 percent vs. 3Q 07. MSNBC’s “Countdown” had its best-ever quarterly delivery (425,000 P25-54 and 1,240,000 P2+). “The Rachel Maddow Show” is off to an incredibly strong start, beating “Larry King Live” in the first two weeks with P25-54 (556 vs. 551). In addition, the 2nd week of “Maddow” beat “Larry King” in total viewers (1,720 vs. 1,678). In the four weeks since her debut, “The Rachel Maddow Show” is up 238% vs. the same weeks in 2007.
On the entertainment cable side, USA had its best-ever quarterly delivery in P25-54 and five of its original series delivered over two million in both demos (P18-49 and P25-54) â€“ unprecedented for any cable network. With 3Q 08, USA continues its winning streak with nine straight quarters as the #1 ad-supported entertainment network in basic cable. The quarter also continues USA’s year of “best ever” quarters with 4Q07 the network’s best 4Q ever, 1Q08 the best 1Q, 2Q 08 the best 2Q and 3Q 08 the best 3Q ever. Additionally, USANetwork.com had its most successful quarter ever attracting more uniques and visits and delivering more video streams and page views than any other quarter in its reported history.
Sci Fi continued to expand its demo base with its best 3Q in all key female demos and younger viewers and showed tremendous growth for its veteran originals. “Eureka” and “Ghost Hunters” had their best overall seasons ever. The network ranked among the top entertainment networks for both P18-49 (#6) and P25-54 (#5), seeing double-digit growth in both key demos. This marked Sci Fi’s most watched third quarter ever among total viewers (P2+), showing a double-digit increase versus Q3 2007. The award-winning SCIFI.com also scored high with its best 3Q ever in uniques, page views, visits and streams.
On pace to record its highest rated year ever, Bravo again broke ratings records on-air and online earning the highest quarter in network history among adults 18-49 and total viewers in primetime. With the most engaged, upscale and educated audience among all cable networks, Bravo marked 12 consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth among adults 18-49, increased viewership with each original franchise cycle in 3Q (“Top Design,” “Project Runway,” “Flipping Out,” “Shear Genius,” Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” and Million Dollar Listing”) and is currently the fastest growing top 30 ad-supported cable entertainment network among women 18-49.
And Oxygen celebrated its most successful quarter ever for both primetime and total day, making it the network’s most watched quarter among all key demos including P18-49, W18-49, W18-34 and total viewers. Oxygen now ranks 22 (up from ranking 29 in 3Q 2007) for W18-49. The network is also the fastest growing cable network for P18-49 among the top 40 ad-supported entertainment cable networks.
Among scripted series, USA’s “Burn Notice” ranked number one among P18-49. For the quarter NBC Universal Cable Entertainment had five of the top six scripted series in P25-54, 62 of the top 100 entertainment telecasts in P18-49 and 64 of the top 100 entertainment telecasts in P25-54 (excluding all sports and news telecasts).