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Cable Facing Summer Primetime Dip

This summer hasn't been as hot for basic cable networks from a
Nielsen standpoint as the industry has lost household share ground to
the broadcast networks, bucking a decade-long trend. 

With five days
left in the summer TV season, ad-supported cable networks have averaged a
65.3 household share, a three-tenths of share drop from last year's
65.6 mark, according to a Turner Research analysis of Nielsen data. If
the numbers hold up -- Nielsen's summer season set to close on Sunday
Aug. 29 -- it would mark first time cable lost household share in a
non-Summer Olympics year since the turn of the century, according to
Turner.
On the flip side, the four major broadcast networks averaged a
24.2 share, up 2% from last year's 23.8 mark. ABC, benefiting in part
on the strength of its June National Basketball Association post-season
coverage -- posted a 22% share increase to pace the broadcast surge.

In
2008, the broadcasters posted a 9% summer share increase behind NBC's
Michael Phelps-fueled Summer Olympics coverage from Beijing, said
Turner. Otherwise, cable has netted gains each summer since the start of
the new millenium.

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