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Summer Cable Series Score High In Program Engagement

Sep 18, 2006  •  Post A Comment

From IAG Research

As the new fall broadcast network season launches, we elected to switch gears this time and examine programming airing since the end of May sweeps. During this three-month interval, the broadcast networks telecast many original episodes of “summer series.”

Veterans, like CBS’s “Big Brother,” and a panoply of new, even scripted shows (NBC’s “Windfall” for one) appeared during these months.

However, cable networks provided viewers with an even larger number of series that featured original episodes (although most telecasts were repeated as well).

IAG has measured viewer response to specific episodes of broadcast and cable series for several years, generating a database of more than 100 million individual surveys. When broadly aggregated, and including both original and repeat airings, broadcast programming achieves higher levels of engagement than cable programming. However, as is the case with averages, that headline, while accurate, overlooks many noteworthy variations.

During the period covered by this analysis (June 1 to Aug. 14), several broadcast series performed well. There were close to 70 different broadcast and cable entertainment series running during that timeframe that presented at least three original episodes and met our sample requirements. Sports programming (including ESPN series) is excluded from this analysis but will be the centerpiece of an article in the near future.

IAG measures programming appearing on 11 cable networks every day of the year between 6 p.m. and midnight. These shows are the focus of our analysis. Twenty cable series enjoyed engagement scores that exceeded the broadcast/cable combined norm during this time period.