Here are network television ratings for last Tuesday night (click here).
And here are cable television ratings for last week Tuesday night (click here for cable ratings). Look at Storage Wars, as an example ... high ratings, and high ratings among 18-49 year olds.
Storage Wars is broadcast on A&E, owned by NBC/Universal, owned by Comcast/GE.
You look at NBC's network ratings, and they are a disaster. I mean, four or five million folks are watching? Think about the days of Cheers or Seinfeld, when you might have forty million folks watching!
CBS does really well, especially among older customers.
But if you are a network channel, and your audience is eroding/aging, you have the choice to find a younger audience via different "channels". In the case of NBC/Universal, there are a lot of "channels".
- The Weather Channel
- A&E Networks
- NBC Sports Channel
- The Golf Channel
- ... and others
Each of these channels has a core audience ... some younger ... some older. Nothing is integrated, though in some cases, there are synergies (i.e. calling upon The Weather Channel when NBC News needs information about a natural disaster).
In our industry, we'd demand that every one of these cable channels be integrated with the mother ship. In doing so, each channel would lose the unique characteristics that allow it to have a loyal following.
Now, if you sum up the viewers of each of these channels, you find that NBC has a ton of viewers across channels.
CBS does this.
ABC does this.
FOX does this.
Why don't we do this?