Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Trump Is Gold For CableTV News

Cable-news networks basked in a record-setting year for viewership spurred on by a tumultuous election, but the momentum has begun to subside, reports USAToday.

With Fox News Channel leading the way, primetime ratings jumped sharply for all networks between January 2016 to the run-up to President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. However, when compared with ratings from the months of September to November, each network saw declines.

Fox News Channel attracted an average of 2.844 million viewers in January during primetime (8-11 p.m. ET) — a increase of 35% over Jan. 2016, but a 2% decline from Sept.-Nov. 2016, according to Nielsen.

CNN had 1.164 million primetime viewers in January — up 38% over last year, but down 22% compared to Sept-Nov. 2016. MSNBC's primetime January viewership of 1.160 million was up 53% over last year but down 18% from Sept.-Nov. 2016.

Among the three networks, Fox News has retained the most of its pre-election viewership growth. When looking at full-day viewership, which reflects regular news coverage beyond opinion or talk, Fox’s ratings rose 12% in January compared to election coverage in Sept.-Nov. 2016. CNN and MSNBC's full-day declines were less than in primetime (13% and 16%, respectively).

Subsiding viewer ratings is natural after a presidential election, even one that wasn't "just any other presidential cycle," says Billie Gold of ad firm Dentsu Aegis' Amplifi. But the flurry of activity out of the White House should keep cable news viewership high, she said. "Ratings will continue to stay above normal levels as political pundits battle it out on cable news channels, creating a ratings windfall"... in the coming months if not the coming year.  "Like him or not, Trump equals ratings and dollars for cable news providers," Gold said.

Fox News Channel also dominated the top overall program chart with 14 of the top 15 shows, including The O'Reilly Factor as No. 1 (4 million viewers). No. 2 Tucker Carlson Tonight (3.7 million) and No. 3 The First 100 Days (3.5 million). Tucker Carlson Tonight, which moved from 7 p.m. ET to 9 p.m. on Jan. 9 after Megyn Kelly announced her departure, was the top show among the coveted group of viewers aged 25-54.

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