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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ratings At A Glance


With the “lull” in the political season, cable news/information channels are not having the big spikes in audience, but do have some fairly remarkable ups and downs. One reason is not only the importance of the news of the day, but daylight savings time, the start of return of primetime programming on the broadcast nets, and general fluctuation of audience. There was really nothing of importance in the audience figures. Telling you whether a program was “up” or “down” really isn’t that important in the overall scheme of things – it is long term trends which are important. But for those of you who are keeping score…

Fox News: 461,000
CNN: 167,000
MSNBC: 374,000

Billo is up about +5% over last week whereas ELECTION CENTER is ‘way down – 74,000 Adults 25 – 54. Since Campbell Brown anchored both weeks, the trend is too early to reflect on her more than it is the lull in the primary/debate season. Not an excuse here, but when a program is down, I look for the “why” and it is too early to pronounce a verdict on the program. COUNTDOWN was also up over last week, +7%. The other programs in the time period are not so politics-driven and therefore dependent on fresh political news.

Fox News: 385,000
CNN: 280,000*
MSNBC: 191,000

HANNITY & COLMES were down significantly this past week versus the week prior. They typically have a heavy political guest slant of late and could also explain the deficit. LKL is up ever so slightly from the week prior, but the increase is almost a wash. LKL is also listed as only airing 4 days out of the five due to the special on Martin Luther King. Dan Abrams’ VERDICT had a very respectable week and a good increase over the week prior – a +13% increase. We’ll see if that “mini” trend continues with the new format.


Fox News: 305,000
CNN: 248,000*
MSNBC: 179,000

GRETA is off -8% last week from the week prior while AC360 is basically equal in comparing the two weeks. 360 only aired 4 days out of 5 due to the Martin Luther King special on Thursday which Nielsen coded a special airing 9PM-11PM. 360 on that evening was coded at 11PM, and actually beat the O’Reilly rebroadcast which is unusual. The COUNTDOWN rebroadcast which is new programming for MSNBC in the time period is up 19,000 over the week prior – again to early to predict trends.

NOTE: How did the Martin Luther King Special do on CNN – very well – it was a solid #1 in the time period from 9PM – 11PM with no competitor even close in the time periods. At an average of 433,000 Adults 25-54 only Billo beat it in all of primetime for the week.

So that’s it – a very average week in cable audience performance.

^Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Adults 25-54 Live + Same Day (LS); Fast Track Nationals.
*4 day average; Martin Luther King Special aired Thursday 9PM-11PM.

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