Cable TV News November Viewing Sinks 19%, National TV Ads Down 9%

Cable TV news networks witnessed an overall 19% decline to a collective 3.7 million Nielsen-measured prime-time viewers in November versus October -- partly due to strong interest in coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, which began on October 7, in October.

TV networks were down 21% versus the same month in the year-ago period, when the November 2022 midterm elections drove higher viewing.

For the most recent month just concluded, cable TV news network leader Fox News Channel was down 18% in prime time from October (to 1.7 million viewers). 

Fox News was in second place in prime time for the month overall behind ESPN, which greatly benefits from “Monday Night Football” in the fall/winter periods.

MSNBC was down by about the same level -- 14% in prime time to 1.1 million viewers. It landed in third place behind ESPN and Fox for the month.



CNN took the biggest hit -- sinking 25% to 540,000 prime-time viewers. It was in fifth place for the month among all cable TV networks.

Behind the big three networks in prime time, Newsmax came in at 207,000 viewers (down from 282,000 in October), while NewsNation was at 99,000 (vs. 106,000 in the previous month.).

Total day viewing showed similar results. Fox lost 13% in total day viewers (to 1.2 million), while MSNBC was off 13% in total day viewing (778,000) and CNN had a decline of 21% in total day viewers to 474,000. 

Year-over-year, MSNBC had the steadiest results -- even vs. the November 2022 midterm election period of higher viewing -- down just 5% in prime time and 3% higher in total day viewers. For the latter, MSNBC gains were the best among the top 25 basic cable networks -- a difficult feat considering industry-wide cable TV networks audience erosion.

Compared to November 2022, Fox News Channel was down 29% in prime time and 25% in total day viewers, while CNN dropped by about the same levels -- sinking 28% in prime and 15% in total day.

Total cable TV news networks advertising declined 9% in October-November versus a year ago to $401.2 million, according to EDO Ad EnGage.

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