Food Network Isn’t As Popular Among Female Viewers, Nielsen Reports

Ratings Drop Over 10 Percent, Show Steady Decline

Posted by Sharon on Jan 20

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According to fourth quarter reports from Nielsen Media Research, the celebrity chef mecca known as Food Network is suffering a decline among its viewers -- changing the most within its key demographic, to boot.

The Nielsen reports collect samples of television viewing habits from selected individuals at random across the United States. Data is compiled and averaged to determine the popularity of TV programming, i.e. during certain hours or among certain age groups. The company's standards have been heavily influential for providing mass media marketing and advertising statistics since its start during the 1950s.

During the latter part of 2010, Nielsen ratings showed that the Food Network plummeted by 10.3 percent in the most sought-after demographic for advertisers, which is viewers ages 25 to 54. Additionally, the network's primetime ratings dropped just last month by 9 percent for women 18 to 49 and 25 to 54, their key demographic.

But this wasn't a sudden decline. The New York Post reports that "the network's quarterly declines worsened throughout the year, falling 3.3 percent in the second quarter and 4.5 percent in the third quarter, according to Nielsen figures."

These declines may be due to the increased popularity of cooking and culinary travel programs on competing networks such as Bravo, TLC, and the Travel Channel. Shows like "Cake Boss,"  "Bizarre Foods," "No Reservations," and "Man Vs. Food" are giving Food Network a run for their money. Not to mention Bravo's popular "Top Chef" franchise, which took home its first Emmy win last year.

Earlier this month, representatives from the Scripps-owned Food Network acknowledged that the company had to compensate advertisers for their fourth-quarter weakness, although for now, they believe it was only a temporary blip.

Source:  Huffington Post

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