Media Buying and Inbound Marketing Blog

Is Your Media Plan Compensating for the Cable & TV Ratings Decline?

By Jane Peters on August 17, 2015 |


This season has seen double digit declines in cable and TV ratings across the board. Ratings across national ratings_dropcable television networks tumbled 9 percent in 2014, triple the decline seen in 2013 and more than quadruple the 2 percent decline seen in 2012 and the trend continues in 2015. (Entertainment and kids networks saw the biggest drops, falling 11 percent and 10 percent in 2014. Viacom’s Nickelodeon and Disney’s Disney XD saw the biggest drop in viewers.)

In 2015, Viacom Inc. is the biggest loser with total-day ratings dropping 18 percent across its list of cable networks. As audiences gravitate to on-demand programming or alternative platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu, networks with a younger target group are experiencing the loss more than others.

According to a report released by MarketingCharts in June, "Between 2011 and 2015, Q1 TV viewing by 18-24-year-olds dropped by almost 8-and-a-half hours per week, or by more than an hour a day. Tellingly, the largest decline occurred within the past year, between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015."

May ratings were not good news for the big four broadcast networks as they had their audiences also decrease. Fox was down the most with a 24 percent drop in viewers while NBC had a loss of 20 percent, CBS lost 18 percent and ABC lost 8 percent of their audiences. 

The ratings decline will be a big problem for media buyers across the nation. Networks now owe hundreds of millions of dollars from guaranteed ratings and the fall TV season is going to be affected.

How networks will make up the loss is still being discussed, but likely they will be cramming more ads into programming to compensate for the losses.  This may lead to even bigger losses as viewers opt out of traditional viewing.

Many marketers are looking for alternatives to the high cost of TV and cable advertising.  One option is moving dollars to inbound marketing.  

Inbound marketing helps potential customers find you or your company through search. With the right tools, small and medium sized businesses can compete effectively with the big companies that could dominate market share with large TV and radio budgets. 

At Media Management Services we provide clients with all the tools needed to compete with the big boys. What we do is get you found, generate leads and build your connections to customers and prospects across multiple platforms. We can deliver a consistent message on all your platforms.

We explore ways to reach consumers by considering all aspects of traditional and emerging media usage. By providing a more focused and targeted media campaign, we help you reach potential customers in today's cluttered environment. We develop an individualized media plan that will meet or exceed your marketing goals and stay within defined budgets.  If you would like to learn more, give us a call.

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