Fox News Channel still commands the top spot in terms of viewership, with rising ad revenue, but MSNBC and CNN have been making sharper 30-second commercial pricing gains in the first half of this year.
In that time, MSNBC has seen rocketing price hikes for prime-time programming -- up 129% to now average $13,550 for a 30-second commercial in June. It was $5,927 in January.
CNN was 31% higher to $9,451 during the January-to-June period (from $7,192), while Fox rose 22% to $10,095 (from $8,285.)
The data is courtesy of SQAD, a media cost data/ad-planning company, which analyzed scatter advertising deals -- near-term, month-by-month, TV advertising deals.
One of the biggest changes month-to-month came in March/April. The average ad costs for MSNBC rose 58%, while CNN costs were 33% higher and while at Fox News, they fell 17%.
CNN posted its best results in April at $11,440 -- topping both Fox and MSNBC for the best average prime-time results among the three networks. Fox had its highest average commercial pricing that month ($10,739).
Weekday morning programming deals are also higher.
MSNBC has seen a 31% increase to $2,950 for a 30-second commercial in June. Fox News Channel is 7% higher, now averaging $3,937 for a 30-second commercial in June. CNN dropped 45% to $1,121.
For those morning programming time periods, MSNBC posted its highest average price for a commercial in April: $3,991. Fox News got its best pricing in March: $4,374. CNN also did its best that month: $2,297.
Fox News Channel maintains tops in viewing for all TV broadcast and cable networks overall: Second-quarter viewership was down 4% to a total day Nielsen 1.41 million viewers; MSNBC, 5% higher to 930,000; and CNN, down 16% to 658,000.
For prime time, Fox News Channel grew 4% to 2.45 million viewers, while MSNBC was up 6% 1.74 million and CNN grew 12% to 929,000.