Cable ratings in the first quarter dropped 2% among viewers in the 18-49-year-old demo, while during the same time period broadcast networks gained 2% among that same demo, Media Daily News reports, citing stats from Nielsen Media Research.
The last time cable took a hit like this–again it was 2%–was also when there was a winter Olympic games–back in 2006.
The report notes, "Another uncommon occurrence for cable: it is also down slightly — 1% — in season-to-date prime-time ratings through March 21, to an 18.0 number. The four broadcast networks are also down for the year -2%. The good news for broadcast is that it is somewhat lower than in previous years — down 4% in 2009 versus the previous year. It was down 10% in 2008 versus 2007. "
The Media Daily News article also reports about how some of cable’s highest-rated shows are heavily taped, especially among the 18-14 demo. According to the article, ""Burn Notice" climbs 71% to 3.2 million 18-49 viewers when including seven days of time-shifted viewing; "Project Runway" gets more than double its live airing from time-shifted viewing — 109% — to 1.3 million of its 2.2 million total; and "Psych" climbs 80% to 2.2 million."