During its most recent quarterly earnings call, Viacom was met with the question of how Nickelodeon’s ratings have experienced steep and seemingly inexplicable ratings drops. Inexplicable, that is, unless you think about Netflix and the fact that it is ramping up its children programming. Last month, a study revealed that homes with Netflix or other streaming platforms have shown declines in children’s TV viewership.
So when this question came up during the earnings call, Viacom Philippe Dauman called it “complicated.” He said, “There are ratings measurement issues. There certainly has been some compelling programming on some of our competitors, which we can clearly address. We will do what we always do: We will research our audiences, we’ll review our pipeline, add more diversity in our programming.”
There is no shortage of analysts – and real data to back it up – that opine that the phenomenon of “cord cutting” is very real. There are actually people who are canceling cable and satellite TV subscriptions because they are more than content with the content they get out of Netflix, Hulu, and other online sources. So in some day, children’s programming has to be part of that effect. The question is just how much of an impact it is truly having.