Monday, December 2, 2013

Cable News News: Big drops

Considering that last November was a Presidential election year, its hardly surprising that this years cable news network ratings are down.  The actual numbers though, are somewhat shocking - both in isolation and as trends.  They can even serve as a guide to reporting bias.
  • Left-leaning coverage will gloat over Fox News Channel's drop of 21% in total viewing.
  • Right-leaning coverage will trumpet CNN and MSNBC losing half their primetime audience.
  • Interesting, in looking over news reports, there's a lot of a third tack - discussing the CNN - MSNBC battle (for a very distant second) and ignoring or burying the Fox News numbers.
This year's numbers for November had FNC (Fox News) attracting more than 2 million viewers in primetime over the November ratings period (down 18%), with MSNBC pulling in 752,000 (down 50%) and CNN with 488,000 (down 54%).  In terms of total viewing, Fox was down 21% from last year's numbers, MSNBC fell by 45%, and CNN by 48%.

For CNN, that's 15 straight months of declining audience numbers.  And while Fox was also down, it ended the month coming in second (to ESPN) in primetime viewing, and still pulled in more viewers than all the other cable news networks combined.  November 2013 marked the 143rd straight month with Fox News as the top cable news network.

Sources: Nov. 2013 Ratings: CNN Hits Year Low,  TVNewser
November 2013 Cable News Ratings: MSNBC Tops CNN; Numbers Down From Last Year,  Huffington Post
Cable News Ratings: Fox News Channel Leads November As Nets Drop Sans Election Coverage, Multichannel News

(edited 10/2/2013 to add keywords)

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