Cable TV News Delivers a Committed Audience

One way for marketers to reach the TV-​viewing audience is to target consumers who watch the news. U.S. adults spend a significant amount of time watching TVNewsviewerlocal and broadcast news. However, a new analysis from the Pew Research Center  on Nielsen data suggests that marketers would do well do purchase ad space on national cable news programming.

The TV-​news audience in the U.S. on a typical month looks something like this:

  • Local TV News 71%
  • Network TV News 65%
  • Cable TV News 38%

At first glance, the cable TV news audience numbers don’t appear to be overly impressive. The Pew analysts looked deeper into the numbers, though, and found that cable TV news viewers spend an average of 25.3 minutes watching these programs every day. By comparison, they devote only a little more than 12 minutes to local and national broadcast news, each, on a daily basis. There’s also some audience crossover with 31% of all TV-​news viewers watching both local and cable and 29% watching both network and cable.

Pew analysts say ‘there is no news junkie like a cable junkie.’ This subset of the audience spends over an hour a day enjoying their favorite cable news programming.  The research revealed that the viewers who are more apt to watch liberal news programming also watch conservative channels. However, the viewers who enjoy conservative programming are less likely to also watch news shows with a liberal angle.  In addition, half of these polarized viewers also check out the more ideologically-​balanced reporting at CNN.

To learn more about cable news watchers, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.