Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Cable News Market Shares - Pie Charts

This simple chart shows the relative market shares for the five major cable news networks. The depressing fact is that FOX has increased it's market share from 50.7% to 51.2% over the last year. That's right, more viewers watch FOX than the other four networks combined . . . and still you wonder how 70% of voters could believe that Sadam had a hand in 9/11?

For more information about the media, viewer numbers and cable vs. the networks, check this out.

11 Thoughts:

Blogger GodlessMom said...

Fox News is definitely the channel of choice around here. If you walk into your basic sports bar or restaurant where they have a TV, it is almost guaranteed it will be tuned in to Fox. I think people like the venom, it makes them feel superior.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 2:35:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

On the bright side, viewership for the network nightly news is far greater.

From the second link on my post . . .

If the three nightly network newscast audiences in November 2003 were combined, a total of 29.3 million viewers, it would be more than 12 times the prime time audience for cable, 2.4 million viewers, during the same period.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 3:38:00 PM  
Blogger pawlr said...

mmmmmmmmm... PIE!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 7:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

What was the sampling error on this study? A 0.5% increase could be nothing, literally.

In any event, that 50% of America gets their prime-time news from Fox is not surprising.

Friday, December 16, 2005 4:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

There isn't one TV News show, at any time of the day, listed in the top ten ratings-grabbers for network, cable, or syndication markets. (At least as of the week of 12/5/05, which is what I saw here...

That's something else! Compare FoxNews' numbers to everything else that's on; then we might see some interesting comparative data.

Friday, December 16, 2005 4:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This is journalism.org's State of the News Media 2005 report, which brings this up to date (Demo's link was to the 2004 version).

In the 2004 version, FoxNews was losing share vs. CNN. (See Demo's link in the post; the second "embedded" one -- no pun intended!)

Now the distinction is still there, but with the gap still closing:

"The Big Picture

From a distance, people may think 2004 must have been a year of ascendancy for cable news. In September, Fox News earned enormous publicity for attracting more viewers during the last two nights of the Republican convention than any other source, including the broadcast networks. With the exception of the first nights of the Gulf War in 1991, no one could recall another moment when a cable news channel had bettered a broadcast network news program in live head-to-head coverage of a breaking news event. Was it a watershed? Perhaps.

Yet the impression that cable's audience is ever-growing, or that 2004 was cable's greatest year, is mistaken. Indeed, in assessing what is going on in cable audiences, four much more complicated trends stand out.

*Overall, a close look at the numbers suggests that the audience for cable news, after being basically flat for nearly two years, drifted upward in the last two months of the election campaign to help create a slight uptick in cable's audience year to year.

*Fox News, which had been rising steadily since 1996, is still growing, while CNN, its biggest rival, is still declining. But Fox is now growing at a slower rate than before, and CNN's losses appear to be flattening.

*In 2004, there was also growing evidence that the cable news audience was splintering along partisan lines -- particularly for Republicans who have left CNN and migrated to Fox.

*At the same time, new data suggest that the growth potential of cable audiences may have reached its limit, as most of the people who could have access to cable news now have it and have made their consumer choices."

Most interesting is that Fox has really and truly become the home of self-identified Republican viewers, but that they've hit the ceiling on this. Look to see how (and whether) the channel adjusts. Growth is all, even in Murdoch-land. They seem to have sucked up their audience.

Dig this:

"Within the specific cable channels, what appears to be happening over time is a migration of Republicans to Fox. In a breakdown of Fox's audience by party affiliation, the percentage that is Republican has increased considerably over the past six years, from 24% in 1998 to 41% in 2004. But there has not been a similar migration of Democrats to CNN or anywhere else.4

The data tell us something fascinating about cable and how it has come to resemble talk radio not only in content but in appeal. But they suggest far less about some growing trends in the media over all."

Friday, December 16, 2005 4:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, Godless Mom: I see Fox on all over the place in RI -- in doctor's offices, bars, and other public places...ah, well.

Saturday, December 17, 2005 3:05:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...


You are correct to say that news is clearly second to entertainment. However, the nightly news is pretty popular on the networks, and their audience is 12 times that of Fox News.


Sunday, December 18, 2005 9:16:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...


By the way, 60 minutes is "News" and it's number 3. Not only is it news, it is often investigative reporting. It says a lot of about CBS viewers (that liberal network) that they have tuned it for this sort of show for some 30 years.

Also, I haven't seen a site that shows cable and network together.


Sunday, December 18, 2005 9:22:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Here's another interesting factoid, about 30% of people think CNN is "believable" and far fewer believe FOX is. Evidently people don't actually believe what they see on TV - GOOD!

Sunday, December 18, 2005 9:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Good point -- I missed "60 Minutes."

It's a strange chicken-egg situation: are people brainwashed by Fox or do they turn to Fox as the choir to be preached to? I think the latter (in general).

It's pretty clear now that the 35-40% core ain't going anywhere. If the last five years, including rampant lies in Iraq and the awful mess of Katrina among other lowlights, can't change their minds, nothing will.

I think the sane but usually distracted 60-65% simply has to get off their asses (more) and start working harder, or giving money. It's happening -- you can see it in DFA, the new IWT News initiative, DN!'s takeoff, etc.

Sunday, December 18, 2005 11:22:00 AM  

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