Cable News Network Viewership Up, Not Surprising For Election Year

So we have ever-higher cable news networks ratings of late.  In the second quarter, Fox News Channel averaged 1.97 million viewers in prime-time viewers, up 23%; CNN is at 960,000, gaining 71%; and MSNBC, also up big at 72%, totaling 880,000.

Total day numbers also show comparable gains: Fox News with an 18% hike now averaging 1.15 million; CNN, up 46% to 628,000; and MSNBC, adding 61% to 513,000.

Through a six-month period, Fox says it is having the highest year ever in viewership -- averaging 2.2 million prime time. No doubt CNN and MSNBC results in this big election year mean strong claims for those networks as well.

But this doesn’t really say much about voters issues and concerns.  

Some 220 million Americans are “eligible” to vote. Last time around, 58% of those voted in the 2012 presidential election -- 126 million. How does this compare to the 2.3 million total day average cable news network viewers and 3.8 million prime-time cable news network viewers?  Seems this can’t tell the whole story.



Obviously there is more to consider: Local TV news, for sure -- especially considering the importance of key swing states in Presidential elections.

At the same time, we need to consider broadcast network news programming. Let’s not forget the tons of social media President Obama counted on for his last two elections.

Digging deeper, just reading voting registration files don’t always seem to offer up the right real-time perspective.

So political marketers have been increasingly looking at cable, satellite and telco set-top-box data to help bolster new digital first-party data efforts. Even then there are many quality and standards issues to consider.

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