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Basic Holds Its Own in Week One

Basic cable showed improved performances during the first week of the 2003-04
TV season.
Ad-supported cable scored a 7% rise in ratings to a 30.6 average
in primetime Sept. 15-21 and a 6.4% increase in share to a 51.6, according to a
Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.
Cable’s delivery grew 8.7% to 33.1 million households.

By contrast, the seven broadcast networks, despite launching 19 fall series,
lost ground last week. The weighted rating for the broadcasters dropped 5% to a
25.7, while their share and delivery declined 5.2% to a 43.4 and 3.5% to 27.9
million households, respectively.

All of the broadcasters suffered across-the-board erosion except CBS, which
benefited from the season premiere of Survivor: Pearl Islands, TV’s
highest-rated show last week with a 12.4 national rating and some 21.5 million
viewers Sept. 18.