It’s a generally accepted fact that cable and network TV are having ratings problems. In 2015, there were a slew of channels that saw overall ratings falter, as Netflix, Hulu and more took over a larger portion of the television space. However, despite the escalating issues many networks are facing, a few have figured out how to stand out from the pack. Here are the networks that ended up growing the most in 2015:
When taking a look at Live+3 numbers, AMC actually had a pretty big year, increasing 9% in the key 18-49 advertising demo, thanks to programs like The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Into the Badlands and Fear The Walking Dead. Cartoon Network did well because it crushed in its core demo, which just so happens to be kids ages 6-11. Adult Swim also did well, with Rick and Morty gaining a 67% increase in viewership this year. So, that’s certainly crushing. Plus, Discovery earned solid numbers in 2015, thanks to having a heavily male audience. Unsurprisingly, the series Gold Rush on that network still brings in big numbers, although Discovery has done big business with Naked and Afraid XL, as well.
These weren’t the only three cable networks to see ratings increases. Variety also notes that HGTV was a standout performer, but other networks like Disney Junior, E!, FXX, GSN, Hallmark, ID, OWN, Science, and TV1 were all major networks that saw increases, as well.
Elsewhere, networks weren’t faring all that well. While AMC was up 9% this year, several networks saw drops of nearly 20% or more, including A&E, which saw it’s traffic drop 23% this year. I’m just going to go ahead and blame that on the loss of Longmire, although declining Duck Dynasty ratings probably didn’t help. MTV, FX and USA also saw major losses, and we’re not even counting the networks that saw minor declines. More on percentages here.
Nabbing viewers is becoming increasingly tricky. As the above numbers show, even networks that still dominate in the ratings like USA are seeing losses, and as the numbers dwindle, less creative and expensive programming can be created at the networks. It’s not as if there is a dearth of TV, however. There were more than 400 original programs produced this year, which gives TV watchers a slew of choices. As competition grows fiercer, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
In the meantime, here's all the new stuff you can catch at midseason.