National TV News Viewing Surpasses 2016

National TV news viewing remains strong year-to-date -- even more than last year, despite election-year results.

Pivotal Research Groups says all network TV news viewing through November 12 -- on broadcast and cable -- is up 6% versus the same time period a year ago.

Viewing among the three big cable networks -- MSNBC, CNN and Fox News Channel -- is 15% higher than a year ago, with the broadcast networks down 8%.

“During a year where most TV viewing is declining significantly, the genre represents a key area of growth for the industry,” writes Brian Wieser, senior media analyst for Pivotal.

Looking at the most recent week -- which held the presidential election a year ago -- national TV news programming was down 61%. But viewing is 27% higher versus the same week in 2013. Since then, MSNBC has grown 155% in total viewership, while CNN has added 100%. Fox News is flat.

Now, NBCUniversal and Fox each command a 30% share of total national TV viewing among all their respective networks/programming, analyzing year-to-date results. Time Warner is at 20%. CBS and ABC each have 9%.

Pivotal estimates national TV news programming in 2016 amounted to 44 billion person-hours of Nielsen live-plus-same day viewing across all dayparts and all viewers -- 12% of total national TV viewing hours and 374 billion person-hours, when looking at live-plus-seven days of time-shifted viewing.                                                   

1 comment about "National TV News Viewing Surpasses 2016".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 16, 2017 at 4:20 p.m.

    Most TV viewing is not declining, it's merely being divided among more channels and platforms.---including OTT/SVOD. There are two reasons for the increase in "news" viewing. One, much of it is not really news but is opinion or commentary, fueled by Trump's off-the-wall behavior and the counter reaction of his many detractors which stirs the pot on the cable news channels, mainly. Second, unlike primetime-quality entertainment fare, which is available onĀ  OTT/SVOD platforms as competition to similar and not so appetizing "linear TV" content, "news" remains a virtual monopoly of "linear TV"; nobody else is competing for such audiences. Put the two together a) "the Trump effect" and b) lack of competition from OTT/SVOD and it's not surprising that "news" viewing is up in terms of time spent, though not necessarily reach.

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