The YouGov BrandIndex, a “consumer perception” research measure, says MSNBC is now the leader among all cable TV news channels when it comes to consumer perception -- over Fox News Channel and CNN.
But wait — all this is relative.
Fox News Channel is still the top network when it comes to an important measure -- maybe the most valuable to some -- viewership. Fox is still way higher than CNN or MSNBC --- among average prime-time viewers. Additionally, it has been tops against all cable TV networks -- news or non-news -- for the better part of the the last several months.
Even then, take all this changing cable new network “consumer perception” with a grain of salt. Make that a shaker-full.
YouGov says out of 59 broadcast and cable networks it tracks -- Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC have the lowest perception scores in the industry. This came from research of 8,000 adults 18 and over interviewed between January 1, 2017 and April 26, 2017.
MSNBC was the best of the worst, registering a negative 6 (-6) on the YouGov BrandIndex. CNN was at a -10 and Fox News Channel a -14. All this contrasts to the three of the best U.S. cable networks which scored this way: History Channel, a plus 17; Discovery Channel, 16; and HBO and PBS. both 12.
These scores came from a question to respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"
A score can range from -100 to 100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position. So.. a score of 35 means that 35% more people said they were positive than negative about the brand.
Fox’s decline in consumer perception perhaps comes from its big name on-air personality, Bill O’Reilly, paying millions in sexual harassment settlements. All followed somewhat similar sexual harassment news around Fox News Channel Chairman Roger Ailes back in June/July of last year.
So why the still low perception levels -- all as overall TV cable news viewership has climbed?
Maybe it’s a love-hate relationship. With all the drama around the new Trump Administration, there is loads of new interest in all things political -- with the auger of “fake news” hanging over the entire information world.
Many viewers may be interested in TV news -- resulting in high viewership -- but perhaps they still aren’t all that convinced about what they are hearing. That’s good news -- and bad.