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December 17, 2008

USA Network tops cable (and the CW) for 2008

NBC Universal is taking its cable victory lap a little early, sending out year-end ratings announcements for its major channels touting healthy year-over-year increases.

USA Network was the most-watched basic cable network in primetime this year, averaging more total viewers (2.8 million) and adults 18-49 (1.3 million) than any other network for the third year in a row.  USA claims it's also the first cable channel to beat one of the top five English-speaking broadcast networks by beating the CW in viewers and the adult demo (though they're also including the summer -- when the CW was almost entirely in repeats).

After its first full year under the NBC tent, Oxygen claimed its best year ever, averaging 390,000 viewers (up 30%). Sci Fi also had its best year ever, averaging 1.3 million (up 7%). And Bravo had its best year ever too -- averaging 749,000 viewers (up 24%).

Cable networks are dancing in a field of dandelions compared to broadcast lately, huh?


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