Fox News ratings
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
20 November 2017
Fox News ratings dip, others rise. A lasting trend?
The other cable news networks envy the Fox News ratings but a tide might be turning. Ratings for the cable news network leader are dropping 12% in the third quarter, while the others see ratings increase.
Are viewers turning off Fox News because of recent scandal? Trump backlash? Support for Keurig?
It could be all of the above, including the network’s support of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. But the other networks shouldn’t gloat over Fox News ratings. Hated or loved, Fox News still sports a brand.
Although it might be one viewers are rejecting.
Fox News still draws an average of 2.15 million viewers in primetime, while MSNBC averages 1.75 million. But a trend emerges. While Fox News ratings drop, MSNBC viewership increases 43% and CNN 1%. In addition, Fox’s prime-time program Hannity lost 15% in advertising revenue, primarily because many advertisers – including Keurig – pulled ads off the show. Because of Hannity’s unabashed support of Moore.
“For the other networks, the slumping Fox News ratings give them optimism – especially as their ratings rise. But those networks still remain where they’ve always been. Failing to know what they stand for or represent.”
What does the Fox News ratings slump mean?
It’d be a mistake to suggest this represents a changing America. Fox News remains the market leader and cable news networks don’t necessarily represent what America thinks. But Fox News is so tied into the Trump brand that viewers might be suffering from fatigue of the constant drama.
Even Hannity seems to be at a loss. When Keurig first pulled its ads, Hannity encourages viewers to boycott Keurig. So, some viewers post videos showing them destroying their Keurig coffee machines. Then Hannity backtracks, probably understanding that other advertisers aren’t gonna like seeing a TV host literally trashing a potential advertiser.
So, Hannity pulls back, asking viewers to stop smashing their Keurigs. Maybe it’s just a misstep in the network’s development. Shepard Smith remains a voice of reason on the network, and management continues cleaning house of those accused of sexual harassment.
For the other networks, the slumping Fox News ratings give them optimism – especially as their ratings rise. But those networks still remain where they’ve always been. Failing to know what they stand for or represent.
And I’m not talking about where on the political spectrum they fall. What does being an MSNBC viewer mean? A CNN viewer? How do they define themselves emotionally?
There’s opportunity here. But unless MSNBC and the other networks capture viewers’ imaginations, the Fox News ratings dip will mean nothing in the long term.
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