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Monday, December 21, 2009

Ratings Numbers From Two Perspectives

Last week, we saw two different views on CNN's ratings. One was from New York Times' Bill Carter, who posted an article titled, CNN Falls Behind MSNBC in Annual Prime-Time Ratings:

CNN will finish 2009 behind MSNBC in prime-time ratings, the first time CNN has ever trailed a competitor other than the Fox News Channel over a full calendar year.

That finish had been expected. In recent months, CNN, which continues to stand behind its policy of steering clear of the opinion-based shows that draw large prime-time audiences for its competitors, has also trailed its own sister network, HLN (formerly Headline News). CNN has frequently finished fourth in the news channel category.

CNN will finish the fourth quarter of 2009 in fourth place — another first — and with two weeks left has been fourth on more than 100 nights this year.

But the end-of-the-year ratings for the news networks — which were being presented this week because nothing is likely to change by Jan. 1 — are bringing some other, less expected, results. One is the ability of Fox News, which had the biggest ratings year in its history, to grow even against the heavily viewed election year of 2008. (Both CNN and MSNBC were down sharply from last year.)

Another surprise has been the steady growth, up 9 percent in prime time, of HLN, where hosts do offer opinions.

Perhaps most surprising is the overall growth in viewing for all the news networks over the last several years. For example, even with its competitive problems in prime time, CNN has had more viewers on average this year than it did in 2006 or 2007. So has MSNBC. But they both have been left in the dust by Fox News.

... to read the full article: CNN Falls Behind MSNBC in Annual Prime-Time Ratings

The other perspective: CNN's. This press release focuses on a different ratings measurement:

In November, roughly one month following the unveiling of the new, the CNN Digital Network continues to hold the No. 1 position among ALL News and Information sites in several key metrics, including total video streams and time spent watching video. Additionally, compared to last year, CNN Digital has increased video streams by 6%, paying off’s video-driven redesign, while No. 2 MSNBC Digital has dropped by 3%.

No. 1 in Video Streams: 89.1 million streams, beating No. 2 MSNBC Digital by 2.6 million streams and No. 3 Yahoo! News by 36.9 million streams

No. 1 in Time Spent Watching Video: 215.5 million minutes, beating No. 2 MSNBC Digital by 21.2 million minutes and No. 3 Fox News Digital by 80.8 million minutes. CNN Digital is also the No. 1 news video property year-to-date averaging more than 318 million minutes per month.

November marks the 14th consecutive month that CNN Digital has been No. 1 in the news and information category in total usage minutes and in share. CNN Digital has also been No. 1 in time per person for the past 6 consecutive months.

No. 1 in Total Usage Minutes: 1.1 billion total usage minutes, beating No 2. Wikipedia by 23 million minutes and No. 3 Weather Channel by 401 million minutes.

No. 1 in Share: 9%, beating Yahoo! News (4%), Weather Channel (5%) and Wikipedia (8%).

No. 1 in Time Per Person: 29 minutes, 5.8 minutes more than No. 2 Fox News Digital and among the top 20 sites.

When compared to the websites of its cable and network news competitors, CNN continues to attract a larger audience than any other TV news brand on the Internet.

No. 1 in Unique Audience: 36.6 million unique visitors, beating MSNBC Digital by more than one million and Fox News Digital by more than 20 million. CNN Digital also beat CBS News Digital by 26.2 million and ABC News Digital by 23.7 million.

No. 1 in Unique Video Viewers: 10.9 million viewers, beating MSNBC Digital by 11%, Fox News Digital by 137%, CBS News Digital by 990% and ABC News Digital by 143%.

This also marks the 34th consecutive month that CNN Digital was No. 1 in the news and current events category for mobile according to Nielsen Mobile Media View. (Source: Nielsen Mobile Media View - October 2009 – most recent data available)

No. 1 in Mobile: 12.1 million unique visitors, surpassing the nearest competitor Yahoo! News by 104%.

No. 1 in Mobile Video: 1.9 million video viewers per quarter, more people watch video on CNN Mobile than any other TV news mobile property. (Source: Nielsen Mobile Media View –Q3 2009)

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Anonymous said...

Bill Carter ought to know what he's talking about. He writes for a newspaper that will soon only be a website and not in print. When will that happen one can only guess, but people are less inclined to buy print if they have a "mobile device handy."
CNN uses the mobile excuse very perceptively to cover themselves. Yes, maybe their website has more hits and maybe more people are hitting their blackberries on CNN, but the truth remains, that as a Cable network it is FOURTH.
I don't care how many charts show growth. It is a form of denial. CNN hired a really good spinmister to draw these intricate comparisons for what purpose?? To show they weren't really failing.
FOX NEWS could care less. The truth remains they win, and CNN lives in denial for another year.

Anonymous said...

CNN is in trouble because they are wrong on
just about everything. Last week they were
saying health care would not pass because
there is no way that Reid would get 60 votes.
Now CNN is trying to make it seem as though
Reid did something wrong by making deals.
Oh yeah like this never happens.It really floors
me that the media has not figured out how to
cover health care.I guess CNN forgot that the
GOP tried to stop the bill. It is like the reporter
for the Financial Times said this morning, the
media is missing the milestone because they
think the people see things they way they do.
CNN needs to quit trying to stir up controversy
by using loaded words. Are you that hungry
for ratings that you will do anything to get
people to watch.I am with the reporter from
the Financial Times. President Obama and
the Dems go this done in his first year. For
70 years others have tried and failed. But
as usual these days CNN is more interested
in the hyperbole.It is as if CNN has lost it's
mind and not doing good journalism.CNN
must think it is the great OZ. They know
what we are thinking.CNN is a part of the
problem that tries to use discord to
misinform and mislead and you wonder
why people don't trust the news. It's really
simple they try to make stuff up that no
one cares about. Another thing they are
getting wrong is that none of this will
take affect for years. Some elements will
start sooner.I guess there were no lobbyists
trying to influence things either.No matter
that the AMA has given it's support. I have
yet to hear this on CNN. Thank goodness
for BBC America.CNN is a complete failure.

Anonymous said...

CNN had better find a genius to stop the
train wreck. Most of it is self-inflicted.
CNN is making it self irrelevant. It is all
about content. Case at point, the story
about pregnant soldiers was on the web
Sunday and CNN is just getting around to
it. That is what happens when you get
your story ideas from talk radio and
political blogs. CNN needs to flex it's
journalistic muscle. If it has any.

Anonymous said...

Good points made from BOTH anons.
Gee, I wonder who will say this is just sooo negative?
Well, let me add this little bit to the mix. I just read that Sanchez, who's neither a journalist, nor an anchor, although he thinks he is, was just hired for another expanded HOUR. There you go. Do poorly and what do you get from CNN, a promotion!
Sounds like another AIG, to me.