Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cable News Numbers - CNN's continuing implosion

One sign of CNN's continued ratings fall was last weekend's cancelling of their premiere prime time show, Piers Morgan Live.  The newly reported Feb 2014 viewing numbers provide ample support. CNN's prime time viewership last month was down 47% (from Feb 2013) at the 8 pm slot, and down 46% at 9 pm.  The 7pm lead-in was down 39%.  The situation with the desired news demographic of adults 25-54 was not quite as dismal - down 32% at 7pm, down 46% at 8pm, and down 38% at 9pm.  The full-day numbers are also down significantly, with CNN losing more than a quarter of its viewers from Feb 2013, averaging just 307,000 total viewers, and just 96,000 in the 25-54 demo.  The monthly numbers were the lowest ever for Piers Morgan Live, Crossfire saw its lowest ratings ever for total audience, and CNN hit a 22-year low in total viewing for the 7pm time slot.

As for its competition, Fox News continued its dominance in total viewing (146 consecutive months as the top-rated cable news network).  Total day viewers averaged more than a million viewers, and almost 1.9 million total viewers in prime time.  FNC saw modest gains of 2% in total average viewers from Feb 2013, and primetime viewing saw a 6% gain in overall viewing, and 3% in the 25-54 demo.  Total day viewing in the desirable 25-54 demo was down 2%.  O'Rielly and Hannity saw slight gains, while the The Kelly File at 9pm saw viewership gains of 23% overall, and 11% in the key demo.

MSNBC saw slight drops in total day (-5% overall) and prime time (down 9% in overall viewing, and down 2% in the 25-54 viewing), while also seeing a small increase (3%) in total day viewing averages for the 25-54 demo viewership.  Hardball with Chris Matthews (live) saw big gains (+22% overall, and +27% in the 25-54 demo) from Feb 2013 in the 7pm slot (when MSNBC did a repeat airing of the 5pm Hardball show in that time slot).

The numbers were enough to put Fox News as the third highest prime time viewership among all cable networks (fifth in total day); in comparison MSNBC ranked 26th in prime time and 27th in total day, while CNN came in 39th (prime time) and 34th (total day).  CNN was able, however, to return to beating Headline News.
Fox dominated the top-ranked programs list, with the top 13 shows in total day, and 8 of the top 10 in prime time. Four Fox programs registered more than 2 million average monthly viewers, with several others just under than threshold.  MSNBC's top show was The Rachel Maddow Show, with just under a million viewers on average (14th overall).  CNN's top show was Anderson Cooper 360, whose average total audience of 421,000 made it the 23rd most-watched cable news network program (behind CNBC's Shark Tank).

Sources - February Cable News Numbers: CNN Tumbles as Fox News Channel Logs 146th Consecutive Win; MSNBC Hangs On,  Deadline Hollywood
The Top Cable News Shows in February Were..., TV Newser
Cable Network Ranker: February 2014, TV Newser

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