While there are pockets of rating successes (NCAA Football Championship), cable numbers have seen a drop. Many blame the Internet, I blame cable.
Take a look at the movie Rio Bravo. A John Wayne classic. In it’s original format, it is 141 minutes long. However the movie is 3-hour event on cable and the movie is substantially edited. The breaks were inordinately long and numerous. Other cable favorites from other popular shows such as HGTV are pushing the ad-to-programming limit.
I’m all for making money. And, I know the costs of running a cable channel are high, but next time I want a western on a lazy Saturday, I’ll go to a streaming service. The time cost is too high for the entertainment value. That kills ratings.