Fox News Leads in Revenue, Ratings; CNN Gets the Largest Surge in Viewership


FoxNews-MSNBC-CNN-2014In 2015 Fox continued to lead cable news networks in both revenue and ratings, but CNN enjoyed the largest surge in viewership considering where they ranked in 2015.

According to Pew Research Center’s State of the Media report released Wednesday, cable news ratings are up across the board, largely due to interest in the U.S. Presidential election.

2015 saw the first primetime growth in three years.

The surge in cable news viewership was mostly due to CNN, which grew its evening viewership 38% to an average of 712K viewers. Fox remained the leader with an average evening viewership with 1.8 million and MSNBC trailed with 579K.

In total viewership, also, CNN led in growth, while Fox remained the leader. Pew’s Jesse Holcomb writes:

The total average viewership over a 24-hour period for Fox News, CNN and MSNBC combined increased 7% in 2015 to an average of 1.9 million. For CNN, that meant 23% growth to 490,000; for MSNBC, 2% growth to 352,000; and for Fox News, 3% growth to 1.1 million viewers.

Fox led in revenue in 2015; the network was projected to increase by 14% to $2.3 billion. CNN was projected to grow by 6% to $1.2 billion, while MSNBC was projected to grow by 3% to $518 million.

In a half-decade that saw moderate decline in the number of foreign bureaus, CNN continued to lead in the number of domestic and international bureaus.

Holcomb writes:

As of March 2016, the organization listed 31 “editorial operations” internationally and 11 domestically. According to information provided to Pew Research Center, that compares with three foreign and 11 domestic bureaus operated by Fox News. NBC News (whose resources are shared with MSNBC) did not provide updated figures for bureaus in 2016, but as of 2015, the network operated 11 foreign and nine domestic bureaus, in addition to 10 international locations in which it had a presence, but no bureau.

[source for all graphs: Pew Research Center]

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