Cable TV News Nets Score 11% More Ad Dollars, Broadcast News Drops 4%

For the 2017-2018 TV season, TV news programming climbed 3% in advertising revenue versus the season before, according to Standard Media Index’s AccuTV service.

Cable TV news networks collectively posted a big 11% hike -- from $2.08 billion to $2.31 billion -- with broadcast TV network news programming down 4%, from $2.37 billion to $2.27 billion.

SMI primary data comes from the raw invoices of media agency holding groups -- five of the top seven groups, making up 70% of the national TV market. For SMI’s AccuTV product, it models 100% of commercials in the TV marketplace across more than 125 networks.

In the most recent October period, Fox News Channel led all cable news channels -- and all ad-supported cable networks. In prime time, it was up 25% in total viewers to 2.8 million and 13% higher in key 25-54 viewers at 332,000.



MSNBC was next at 1.6 million prime-time viewers -- flat versus the same time period a year ago, and in fourth place among all basic cable networks. It was down 19% in 25-54 viewers at 281,000. CNN inched up 1% in total prime-time viewers to 931,000, and down 11% in 25-54 viewers, settling at 290,000. It was in ninth place among all cable networks.

Looking longer-term in total viewers -- the most recent 10-month period from January through October versus the same period a year ago: MSNBC grew 10%, while Fox was 4% higher and CNN was down 6%.

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