USA Network #1 Cable Channel For Over 4 Years

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 9th, 2013 at 1:48 pm,

usa network logo white blue USA Network #1 Cable Channel For Over 4 Years

In a cable environment at least as vicious as it’s ever been, USA (the channel, not the country) has emerged victorious for another quarter. The network has led the ratings race for almost five straight years.

USA’s original programming, particularly Burn Notice, White Collar and Covert Affairs, continues to soundly beat competition from the likes of TNT and FX. Reruns of popular broadcast shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, House and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit help flesh out the numbers along with WWE RAW.

But USA doesn’t have all the bragging rights for cable. By far the most popular non-sports show is MTV’s Jersey Shore, scoring a whopping 8 million viewers on average for Season 4. (For contrast, American Idol averaged 22 million viewers per episode in 2010, and Two And A Half Men got around 15 million.)

ESPN sits between USA and MTV in overall rankings, but easily won the most-watched single program with the 2011 Bowl Championship Series final – 27 million people tuned in for the college football game. ESPN claimed all ten of the top spots for individual broadcasts, with a mix of sporting events and commentary shows.

Jersey Shore season 4 Italy cast USA Network #1 Cable Channel For Over 4 Years

USA was technically down in total viewers, but ESPN gained 37% over the same quarter last year. MTV had an impressive 62% new viewership. Other big gainers include The History Channel, FX, Comedy Central, Syfy, Bravo, TV Land and BET. All showed impressive growth – both in overall ratings and demographic-specific numbers. TBS, Spike TV, E! and VH1 all showed losses for Q1. TNT was relatively flat.

Overall, the data tells an obvious story: if you want to dominate cable, you need original programming with mass-market appeal. Burn Notice and Covert Affairs have more in common with broadcast shows like Chuck than more gritty cable fare such as Southland, but even though they’re not taking advantage of a less-regulated medium, they bring in the numbers.

MTV skews younger than either USA or ESPN, but they’re still following the reality trend they started with The Real World - a trend that’s proven massively popular year after year on broadcast TV. Even traditionally sober networks like History or Discovery have picked up on the reality game with Pawn Stars and  American Chopper.

Source: Variety

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TAGS: burn notice, covert affairs, white collar

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  1. What in the hell is that thing in black on the left?

    • That thing is called a Snooki, indigenous to the eastern shoreline of New Jersey. Unlike most mammals, the Snooki cannot be killed by consuming lethal amounts of alcohol, and seems to be immune to most STDs. The Snooki can often be identified by its dark orange skin, large mane of firm hair, and by staggering from side to side while walking. Many believed that the staggering was caused by alcohol poisoning; however, experts now believe that it’s done purposefully, in order to thwart predators.

      • It cannot be defeated! Just lay back and enjoy it!

  2. If I told someone that televisions biggest shows would be people sitting around not doing anything then swearing at each other and throwing things at each other. If I told people then that these shows would be non-actors or bad actors pretending to be themselves doing things like repoing cars to fake bad-actors and other shows where people don’t do hardly anything, they would say I was lying and ask ‘why would people watch that?’

    Why? Why would people watch this stuff.

    People act surprised that some guy from Jersey Shore can’t tell a decent joke. The man has no talent other than hitting the Gymnasium. That’s it. Maybe he can dance a little at the clubs.

    It’s extremely boring to me. It doesn’t make sense.

    • I hear you, esp because I AM an Italian from the Jersey Shore, and if I or anyone I knew acted like these mutants theyd get their asses whupped and shipped back to New York, which is where theyre really from!

  3. I’ve never watched Jersey Shore (don’t watch much MTV anymore), but I do love American Pickers on the History Channel. Cable is all I watch now because the networks have become unwatchable due to their blatant leftist extremism seeping into much of what they broadcast.

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