Broadcast News In Just One TV Market Has Greater Audience Than 5 Major Cable News Networks, Combined


Report Released at TVB Forward Conference ’12 Shows that Top TV Markets Dwarf Cable News Nets’ National and In-Market Audiences

New York, September 12, 2012 – TVB, the not-for-profit trade association of America’s commercial broadcast television industry, today released findings of an analysis showing that viewership for early and late evening news programming in the New York TV market outpaced the national audience delivery of the primary cable news networks’ primetime programming by +18% (persons 2+). The analysis also points out that in each of the Top 10 U.S. TV markets, the cable news networks’ audience was dwarfed by local TV stations, with cable delivering only 3%-8% of the in-market evening news audience. The analysis released today at the TVB Forward Conference ’12, taking place in New York City, is based on a breakdown of May 2012 Nielsen Media Research data (4/26/12– 5/23/12) and compares the audience delivery of local broadcast news to the five highest rated cable news networks (CNN, CNBC, FOXNC, HLN and MSNBC).

The local broadcast advantage over cable news is magnified to 168% when the analysis is broadened to the Top 3 U.S. TV markets. And, when compared to news audiences in the Top 10 U.S. TV markets, local broadcast news beats the national cable news networks by over 430%.

Beyond local evening news’ significantly larger audience, a separate TVB study identified other benefits to advertisers using local broadcast news, including the ability to reach a more demographically balanced audience relative to that of primetime national cable news programming. Among core A35+ news viewers, the aggregate audience for early and late local evening news in the top 10 U.S. TV markets had 38% of adults between the ages of 35 and 54 and 62% age 55+ compared to a much older skewing cable news audience in which 77% were over the age of 55. The study also noted that the largest group of American voters are between the ages of 35 and 54 (39%), a demographic that is under-represented by primetime cable news (22%).

“The data is conclusive in highlighting the enormous audience reach and composition balance advantages local broadcast TV news provides advertisers compared with national cable primetime news networks,” commented Steve Lanzano, President of the TVB. “It’s also clear from the findings that viewers aged 35-54 strongly favor local evening news over national cable primetime news. The combined audience for early and late evening news in the Top 10 U.S. TV markets alone delivers an audience of nearly 6 million viewers nightly in this key demographic compared to an audience of approximately 700,000 viewers for national cable primetime news. And, as noted in a recently released Pew Research Center report, local broadcast news programming has the highest positive rating for credibility. With the vast disparity in audience numbers, the significantly more attractive audience demographic and the broad gulf in credibility levels, it’s clear that in terms of reach and cost, advertising spending is maximized by purchasing spots during local broadcast news programming.”

The full report is available here.

The TVB Forward Conference ’12 is a forum for expert opinion and discussion on the issues paramount to television broadcasters now and in the future. Held each fall in NYC, leading experts share their views on the effect that economic, political, technological and consumer influences will have on US business and the advertising marketplace. This annual conference is attended by over 300 Broadcast TV CEOs, CFOs, TV station GMs, senior sales executives and heads of the TV station rep firms as well as senior agency and marketing executives.

About TVB
TVB is the not-for-profit trade association of America’s commercial broadcast television industry. Its members include television broadcast groups, advertising sales reps, syndicators, international broadcasters, associate members and over 500 individual television stations. TVB actively promotes local media marketing solutions to the advertising community, and in so doing works to develop advertising dollars for the medium’s multiple platforms, including on-air, website and mobile. TVB provides a diverse variety of tools and resources, including its website, to support its members and to help advertisers make the best use of local ad dollars.

Sources and Definitions:
TVB analysis of Nielsen Media Research Data: May 2012 (4/26/12-5/23/12). Live + SD.

National Cable primetime: CNN, CNBC, FOXNC, HLN, MSNBC (6:00 p.m. – Midnight).

Top 10 Local Broadcast TV markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, DC, Atlanta and Houston.

Voters = Public activities: Voted in Federal, State or Local election.

Voter demographic data: U.S. Census Bureau, Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008, published July 2012.

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