A Year After Election, Cable Ratings Are Down

By Andrew Gauthier 


In a rare occurrence, cable’s ad-supported cable networks have lost viewership in the initial weeks of a new fall TV season versus that of the previous year.

In the first three weeks of the season–September 21 to October 11–cable lost 5% among its three major demographic groups: 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54 viewers, according to new research from media agency group Group M using Nielsen Company data.


Cable network viewers 18-34 dropped to a collective 15.34 million, down 5.2%; the 18-49 audience went to 16.95 million, off 4.7%; and 25-54 viewers sank to 4.6% to 18.08 million.

Virtually all the loss came from cable news networks, which are witnessing lower ratings as a group versus that of the big upswing in viewers a year ago, due to the presidential election. Cable news networks have lost a massive 61% of their 18-49 viewers as a group and 54% of their key 25-54 viewers as a group. More…