The February ratings show that viewers continue to find other options to watching TV.
Commercial ratings cratered across broadcast and cable networks, marking the fifth straight month of double-digit declines for the industry.
“It’s clear the downward spiral in TV ratings continues with no end in sight,” media analyst Michael Nathanson wrote in a research note on Friday.
Overall prime-time broadcast network ratings were off 12 percent last month compared to a year ago, while cable networks dropped 11 percent, according to his report.
While a couple of networks that carried the Super Bowl and the Olympics last year clearly suffered because of tougher comparisons, almost every channel was hurting.
Looking at total-day C3 ratings, only three networks boosted their audience: HGTV, Discovery and TBS, while TNT, History and Nickelodeon fell the most.
Typically, TV ad sales executives can increase prices to compensate for a ratings decline, citing scarcity. But Nathanson said seismic changes are pressuring networks to hold the line on pricing.
Although some of the ratings declines can be blamed on changes to Nielsen’s measuring methods, among other changes, “we believe these terrible ratings trends are also indicative of changing viewership habits,” he wrote.
The numbers underscore the rapid changes in how TV viewers are consuming content.
Americans are increasingly watching TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon streaming and other services. Some 40 percent of households now have subscription video service, Nielsen reported earlier this week.
FTVLive will be one of those dropping our cable service in April and relying more on streaming and over the air television.
H/T NY Post