USA tops cable growth

CNN fell more than any other network

Not only was USA the most-watched cable network this year, the channel grew its total primetime audience by 15% -- more than any of its top competitors. USA's drama series hit factory grew along with "True Blood"-fueled pay network HBO (+41%), and BET (+23%), the latter boosted by its coverage of Michael Jackson's death. Food Network (+26%) cooked up a good year, "Jon & Kate" helped TLC (+18%) and sophomore hit "Sons of Anarchy" aided FX (+10%).

On the downside, CNN (-30%) fell more than any other cable network. Lifetime, despite gaining sampling with "Project Runway," dropped sharply (-20%), as did competitor Hallmark (-18%). Several MTV Networks brands slumped, with SpikeTV (-18%), Comedy Central (-10%) and MTV (-10%) down.

Here's how the cable networks stacked up this year in primetime:

TOTAL VIEWERS*

USA 3.278 million average viewers +15%
DISNEY 2.534 +6%
ESPN 2.253 +9%
TNT 2.254 +2%
FOX NEWS 2.210 +7%
TBS 1.838 -7%
NICK AT NIGHT 1.734 +2%
A&E 1.467 +8%
ABC FAMILY 1.353 +4%
FX 1.369 +10%
CARTOON 1.302 -3%
SYFY 1.276 -0%
DISCOVERY 1.253 +4%
HISTORY 1.212 +3%
HGTV 1.202 +9%
LIFETIME 1.185 -20%
FOOD 1.119 +26%
HALLMARK 1.104 -18%
AMC 1.041 -6%
TLC 1.070 +18%
TRUTV 1.090 +0%
SPIKE 1.063 -17%
COMEDY CENTRAL 992 -10%
CNN 908 -30%
MSNBC 817 -12%
MTV 807 -10%
BRAVO 796 +6%
BET 777 +23%
VH1 744 +0%
TVLAND 720 -8%
ESPN2 694 +8%
HBO 693 +41%
E! 592 +7%

ADULTS 18-49 TOP 20**

USA 1.383 million average 18-49 viewers +6%
ESPN 1.090 +6%
TBS 1.064 -6%
TNT 1.031 +1%
FX 780 +10%
A&E 702 +2%
DISCOVERY 675 +3%
ABC FAMILY 610 +4%
SYFY 606 -2%
COMEDY 591 -12%
SPIKE 591 -7%
HISTORY 561 +3%
FOOD 560 +26%
NICK NITE 558 -8%
TLC 556 +13%
DISNEY 554 +12%
MTV 530 -9%
TRUTV 522 +12%
LIFETIME 510 -17%
VH1 476 -2%

* Average primetime audience, 12/29/08 to 12/20/09 compared to same period last year. All total figures are +000.
**expressed as number of adults 18-49 viewers. All total figures are +000.
comments powered by Disqus