Fewer People Watching Cable News


Staff member
Is a presidential election a turnoff to news viewers, even those who generally like to hear political opinions reflected in cable news shows?

In what seems an incongruous development, the month of May — in the middle of what is shaping up as a close presidential campaign — generated some of the worst recent ratings for cable news television.

That included the dominant leader in that category, Fox News. The ratings for some of its top programs declined to their lowest levels since the last presidential election year.

Of course for CNN, which trails Fox News badly across the board, the ratings news is consistent — as in consistently dreadful — with several of its prime viewing hours, including the 7 p.m. shows and 9 p.m. shows, attracting the smallest audiences in that channel’s history.

MSNBC also recorded sharp falloffs in viewing compared to last May.
MSNBC was down 26 percent from a year ago in the category of most importance to news channels, viewers between the ages of 25 and 54 (the group news advertisers pay to reach).
Read More: Cable News Ratings Fall Across the Board, From Fox to MSNBC - NYTimes.com

So, is this because people are disinterested in the cable news take on the "news", or is it simply that fewer people are watching cable? Subscription numbers were up last quarter for pay-tv subscriptions, but with the economy stagnating as the Fed continues to print more money people may finally be cutting the cord. The other question is how does the availablity of internet delivered streams of cable news effect the ratings of the linear channels?


Staff member
From a Related Article

“The U.S. subscription-TV industry first showed a small net loss of subscribers a year ago. This year, that trickle has turned into a stream. The chief cause appears to be persistently high unemployment and a housing market that has many people living with their parents,” according to an Associated Press report cited in Oregonlive.

Therefore, it seems that Fox News and other cable TV news shows might remain a great way to reach an affluent audience, but no longer includes 83.2 million people, who may no longer have the money to pay for the luxury of cable TV.
Read More: Fox News losing their audience as cable TV ratings drop


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
I've written a couple of blogs about this recently, centered on CNN. For me, what I miss is being able to turn on CNN and get NEWS. What I get now are lots of talking heads. That's not what I want, so I don't watch nearly as much as I used to. Instead, I keep it to my local channels or their websites.
So Hannity and Greta V.S. are losing viewers ... why no mention of O'Reilly, the #1 show on Fox News? Apparantly, he's doing OK!?

For my money, Greta has the best show on FNC. O'Reilly is such an IDIOT in some areas, he's harmless (but certainly not hamless). Hannity is a broken record: "Obama is a socialist. Obama is evil. Hate Obama. Obama promised THIS and did THAT. Obama hates America." The guy must love Obama, cause without him he'd have no show. Too bad for Greta that Hannity is the lead in for "On The Record."


Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
I no longer have any use for CNN or any other Network that allows their 'talking heads' to broadcast their personal opinions OR their Network's opinions/positions instead of presenting the known facts during their "Newscasts".

The News used to be the facts known at the time of Broadcast as Edward R. Murrow insisted it should be.

Look at the coverage of 'The Occupy Movements' vs the coverage of "The Tea Party" (Taxed Enough Already). Camping in Parks and crapping on the streets is good. A different group of protesters singing the National Anthem is bad. Go figure.

I think there are many reasons for downfall in viewers of the cable news channel.
The current happening in the US is the unemployment crisis. The parties and the networks are not talking about creating jobs and helping the middle class create their own businesses.
Number of people using internet for all kind of information and work has increased manifold over the years. They don’t have the time to watch an hour-long show or watch 2 hours to get both sides. Instead, the internet and news websites can give us short quick posts and video clips. Even people are getting news and information from smart phones and tablets.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
That's exactly the point in my opinion. I want to see the news -- n e w s, not some hothead speaking his opinion and arguing with people. I think the "shows" are the wrong way to go. Get back to the n e w s and leave the entertainment behind.


I agree with Orrymain. I'm a cord-cutter. Mostly I cut because I hated all the advertising disrupting the show I was paying to see (like channel bugs, snipes, and endless commercial breaks), but I also stopped watching cable news because it wasn't news, just commentary. Half the time they wouldn't even tell you what the story was, just that it was bad for the Democrats or the Republicans or granny's cat or whatever.

Watching cable news really does make you dumber: How Watching Cable News Makes You Dumber - Yahoo Voices - voices.yahoo.com