You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Digital Subchannels Outperform Cable Competitors, Report Finds

Digital subchannels outperform top cable brands in audience coverage and household ratings, according to a new report from Katz Media Group. The report found that as cord-cutting and cord-shaving drive down the the number of subscribers at most cable channels, the coverage gap widens between them and more widely available broadcast digital subchannels.

Katz found that the eight top networks available on digital subchannels — MeTV, Grit, Antenna TV, Laff, Escape, This TV, Bounce TV, and Create — were more widely available than leading cable channels such as Food Network, CNN, Discovery Channel, and TBS. The report also found that in Nielsen live-plus-seven household ratings, the top digital network, MeTV ranked 20th out of all cable and broadcast networks, ahead of cable channels such as A&E, FX, Lifetime, TLC, Bravo, and MTV.

“People consider [digital networks] a last-tier option for an advertising investment when, in fact, they’re performing at or above a level of cable networks that are consistently considered for investment,” says Stacey Schulman, executive VP of strategy and analytics for Katz Media Group.

The report, released Monday, also found that digital networks have seen their audiences grow at a time of relative stagnation for cable and broadcast. From May 2016 to May 2017, average Nielsen live-plus-seven household share grew 42% for digital networks. Over the same period, it grew only 2% for cable and declined 4% for broadcast.

Digital subchannels emerged following the conversion of broadcast TV from analog to digital transmission in 2009. Most subchannels are managed by local broadcast stations, and airtime on them is typically leased to digital networks. Many such networks draw audiences with schedules consisting primarily of library programming — such as MeTV, which focuses on classic series such as “Alf” and “The Andy Griffith Show” — sometimes geared toward particular genres.

More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content