With the loss of carriage in a dispute with satellite broadcaster DirecTV, ratings for Viacom’s Nickelodeon network have plunged by about one-third, reports Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog.
Nickelodeon’s total day audience was about 1.8 million on July 10, the last day the network was carried before the dispute disrupted service, according to the story. The following day, total day audience plunged 33% to 1.2 million, while on Friday the average rose slightly to 1.3 million.
"Losing carriage on DirecTV couldn’t have come at a worse time for Nickelodeon," Flint writes. "The cable network, which caters its programming to kids and teens with shows that include ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ and ‘Dora the Explorer,’ has seen its audience shrink over the past year while rival Disney Channel has made gains."
It’s not clear when a deal will come, although talks are ongoing between Viacom and DirecTV. DirecTV has made a number of programming moves in response to the impasse, as previously reported.
Other Viacom networks have also lost viewers, with MTV’s total day average dropping 43% to 273,000 on July 13 from 500,000 viewers on July 10.