Just as upfront sales get off to a tenuous start, the TV networks appear to be losing ground in one area where they have long had the upper hand: reach.
That’s the word from MoffettNathanson Research, as reported by MediaPost. According to the report the research firm says broadcast’s reach has slipped to 82% of viewers 2+, down from 92% in the first quarter of 2011. Cable networks are also down during the period, from 80% to 89%.
The report quotes Michael Nathanson, senior media analyst for MoffettNathanson Research, writing: “Playing this forward, we would expect a further 1,000 basis point drop in reach to occur at a more accelerated pace as more consumption continues to move away from the traditional TV screen.”
MediaPost adds: “Over the last four years, first-quarter reach has declined for all top 25 networks — excluding cable network NBCSN — in the percentage reach of viewers 2+.
“Among broadcast networks, NBC had a 6% drop to 72.9%, ABC declined 12% to 63%, CBS was down 13% to 66.5%; and Fox saw a 28% drop to 54.3%. Big cable networks went in the same direction, with TNT down 16% to 42.6%; TBS off 23% to 41.3%; USA Network 31% lower to 32.8%, and AMC down 28% to 33.7%.”