Warners Bros. Discovery touted the ratings of its marquee cable networks even as cord cutters continue to flee traditional pay-TV services in a steady defection.
The media giant on Monday touted the performance of TLC, which it said ranked No. 1 among women 25-54 and 18-49 and was the top cable network without sports among adults 25-54 and 18-49 in the third quarter. It also noted that TBS was the No. 2 cable entertainment network among men 25-54 and 18-49, and TNT was the No. 3 cable entertainment network among men 18-49 and men 25-54. Adult Swim, which is Cartoon Network’s prime time identity, was in the top five among adults 18-49 and 18-34, while HGTV is ranked in the top 10 with adults 25-54.
The stats are a reminder that while live sports remains the crown jewel of cable, there remains a lot of other popular content. The rankings, however, mask the fact that people are increasingly dropping traditional cable and satellite TV. The first half saw the cable TV industry lose more than 2.7 million customers, as consumers look elsewhere for their entertainment needs. With the cost of everything rising, many savvy switchers are moving to live TV streaming services or free ad-supported services.
So it makes sense for Warner Bros. Discovery to tout the performance of its family of cable networks in this environment. Even as the company looks to drive more consumers to its Max streaming service, it continues to generate much of its revenue from deals with the cable providers, and those networks serve as a launchpad for brands and franchises that get extended to Max.
The company called out the success of Shark Week, which it said delivered the highest ratings in three years, and said that Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, TBS, TLC and TNT ranked among the top 10 .
Warner Bros. Discovery is expected to release its full third-quarter results early next month, which will give us a better picture of their financial health.
Corrected at 2:50 p.m. ET: The headline misspelled TLC.