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Third Week a Charm for Basic

Basic cable has run its string of record primetime weekly share marks to

From July 7-13, the medium recorded a 5.3% increase over the corresponding
span the year before to average a best-ever 55.6 share of primetime audience,
according to a Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau analysis of Nielsen Media
Research data.

The seven broadcasters’ aggregate primetime share, meanwhile, slipped 5% to
36.2 during the week in question.

That performance followed basic cable registering a 55.4 primetime share for
the week of June 30-July 6 and a 55.0 share from June 23-29, the first time the
industry had crossed that plateau.

Dating back to last summer, the CAB said basic cable has now exceeded 50
share points in primetime for 23 consecutive weeks.

Last week, the CAB said basic cable’s primetime-household ratings grew 6.3%
to 30.2 from a 28.4 July 8-14, 2002. The industry’s average delivery expanded
7.4% to 32.2 million households from just under 30 million the prior year.

For their part, the seven broadcast networks sustained a 3.9% drop in
primetime ratings to a 19.7, while delivery dropped 2.8% to just over 21

Much of the broadcast fallout came from Fox, which saw its household ratings
plummet 29.8% to a 3.3, according to the CAB analysis. CBS dipped 1.9% to a 5.3
average, and Pax TV decreased 14. 3% to a 0.6 average.

ABC was even last week at a 4.1. NBC (up 5.9% to a 5.4), UPN (ahead 13.3% to
a 1.7) and The WB Television Network (a 23.5% advance to a 2.1) all posted
ratings gains.