Ratings for the Kids Cable Networks Are Not Alright

The holiday season is a great time to be a kid, but December isn’t turning out to be a great time to be a cable TV network aimed at children.

Ratings continue to plummet for the big kids networks, according to a report from Todd Juenger of Sanford C. Bernstein. The kids networks have been early victims of the shift to digital forms of entertainment, including streaming.

For the week starting Dec. 9, ViacomCBS’s Nickelodeon, the leader in the kids category, was down 29% in ratings and continues to lose share, Juenger said.

AT&T Cartoon Network was down in line with the entire category, which dropped 24%.

Disney Channel, which does not sell traditional ads, was down 27%--more than its competitors.

Juenger said that the Walt Disney Co.’s launch of the Disney+ streaming service might be cannibalizing Disney Channel on cable. “Since Disney+ launched the network has underperformed kid's cable by an average of 6% per week,” he said.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.