Smaller networks benefit from strike

Univision and others get ratings advantage

The writers strike is already bad news for the major networks — and now, cable nets and other broadcasters are poised to take more bites out of the majors’ already-shrinking slice of the overall viewing pie.

Spanish-language broadcast network Univision, for one, has been picking up ratings steam in the nearly two years since Nielsen began tracking it alongside the likes of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

Through the first 11 weeks of the season, Univision’s 1.5 rating among adults 18-49 (up 7% vs. last year) ranks fifth among all networks and is comfortably ahead of struggling weblet CW (1.2). By comparison, leader ABC has averaged a 3.8 average, and is off 5% year to year.

And things look even better among adults 18-34, where Univision’s average (1.7) is more than half of co-leaders ABC and Fox (3.1). It’s also within less than a ratings point of fourth-place CBS (2.4).

The network set records Dec. 3 with the finale of telenovela “Destilando Amor (Essence of Love),” which averaged a 9 share among adults 18-49 and an 11 share among adults 18-34. On a Monday night when the Big Four aired a combo of new and repeat programs, Univision beat them all in these demos.

— Rick Kissell

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