Look at the numbers. COVID resurrected failed media outlets. The numbers are unprecedented. People who never watch news were forced to tune in every day – and tune in they did. Previous non-watchers turned to notoriously left-wing news outlets, unaware of how utterly corrupt and compromised they are. It’s take a couple of months, but people are waking up to the malevolent motives of media
CNN (+419%), MSNBC (+283%), Fox News (+255%) and Fox Business (+155%) being the four biggest beneficiaries.
The end of COVID would end the legacy media’s grip on the narrative. So don’t expect an end any time soon, no matter if the fatality rates have never been lower.
Weaponizing COVID against Trump in concert with this new business model is but the latest leftist malignity we have to defeat. How? Truth.
As TV Audiences Turn To News Networks In Droves, A Dive Into Viewer Behavior In The First Half Of 2020
Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America
By: Forbes, August 1, 2020:
Although ranking third in ratings among cable news networks, CNN continues to be a destination …
It comes as no surprise that television newscasts have become a programming destination and a source of information for tens of millions of Americans this year.
As you may remember, the year began with political news, including several presidential debates among Democratic candidates vying for the nomination; at the same time, there was the impeachment trial of President Trump in the U.S. Senate, only the third in U.S. history. In mid-March, the coronavirus pandemic began to spread and the stock market plummeted as millions of workers were either furloughed or lost their jobs, setting unemployment records. Near the end of May, the police killing of George Floyd triggered a wave of protests.
Hence, it came as no surprise that in the second quarter of 2020, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN were the three highest-rated cable networks in both prime time and total day. In fact, in the second quarter, all three cable networks had their highest-rated quarter ever.
To provide further insights into when and where viewers tuned to television news, VideoAmp, an ad tech company, analyzed TV viewership using Audience Content Recognition (ACR) data from a panel of 9 million smart TV devices across every market in the U.S.
For the analysis, VideoAmp divided the first 23 weeks of the year into five date ranges based on the news events. VideoAmp then measured the week-to-week changes in TV newscasts, using the entire 23 weeks as a baseline average. The five date ranges were:
● Pre-Quarantine: January 6-March 8 (9 weeks)
● Early Quarantine: March 9-April 12 (5 weeks)
● Mid Quarantine: April 13-May 3 (3 weeks)
● Late Quarantine: May 4-May 24 (3 weeks)
● Protests: May 25-June 14 (3 weeks)
In the nine-week, pre-quarantine range, which lasted until early March, total linear TV ratings (cable and broadcast) started out strong with the first two weeks (January 6 and January 13) generating above the baseline average by 5% and 1%, respectively. For the remaining seven weeks of the pre-quarantine period however, tuning to linear TV fell below average.
In the early pandemic period, as shelter-in-place took effect, linear TV tuning was at its highest. It was during this time that live sporting events, movie theaters and retail outlets were all shut down and quarantined viewers tuned to news networks and other news content, seeking the latest information about the coronavirus from scientists and government officials. Linear TV ratings peaked during the weeks of March 16 (+10% above average), March 23 (+10%) and March 30 (+9%). Above average ratings continued for the following three weeks at 7%-8% above average.
According to VideoAmp’s analysis, linear TV viewing began to drop starting the week of April 27 (0%). Flat ratings continued throughout the three-week late quarantine period, caused by a combination of viewer fatigue, warmer weather and some states gradually reopening for business. The ratings decline though was temporary.
Viewing surged again with the death of George Floyd on May 25, which ushered in a wave of protests across the U.S. and around the world. With news outlets providing wall-to-wall coverage of protests, overall ratings surged to 6% above average during the week of May 25. The ratings surge however, was not as enduring as the pandemic. By the week of June 8, ratings had dropped to 6% below the 23-week baseline average.
The analysis also found that all three major 24-hour news networks had a spike in ratings. CNN had benefited the most, with the highest increase in audience once the pandemic hit. Although CNN typically ranks third in ratings behind rival news channels, the 40-year-old cable network has for years been a destination channel for casual and light news viewers during heightened and late breaking news events. During the pandemic, CNN’s audience more than doubled.
Digging Deeper into Audiences
VideoAmp also segmented households into terciles based on time spent. Segments were created for light, medium and heavy news viewers, with baseline averages established for each group. Light news viewers averaged 33 minutes per week, medium news viewers averaged 163 minutes per week, and heavy news viewers averaged 700 minutes per week. As news fatigue did occur, households took a respite and also tuned to other cable networks during the three-week protest period. When compared to the nine-week pre-quarantine period, heavy news viewers also watched lower-rated niche cable networks, such as Great American Country (+100%), Country Music Television (+61%), WGN America (+48%) Destination America (+40%) and DIY Network (+38%). Among news networks only CNN (+48%) and CNBC (+10%) had a sizable increase.
During the same three-week period, light news viewers were, not surprisingly, most likely to watch news networks, with CNN (+419%), MSNBC (+283%), Fox News (+255%) and Fox Business (+155%) being the four biggest beneficiaries.
Light news viewers also tuned to many of the same niche cable networks that heavy news watched: Great American Country (+99%), WGN America (+46%), DIY Network (+41%), Destination America (+38%) and CMT (+32%).
During the three-week protest period, VideoAmp also looked at heavy and light news viewing by programming genre and compared it to pre-pandemic viewing. When not watching newscasts, heavy news viewers watched more game shows (+39%), how-to programs (+26%), interviews (+23%), variety shows (+18%) and science programs (+14%). The most popular programming genres for light news viewers were somewhat different, led by politics (+222%), news (+86%), game shows (+45%), talk shows (+31%) and variety shows (+27%).
Josh Chasin, chief measurability officer at VideoAmp, explains, “While there is a cohort of Americans who spend a lot of time — on average, almost 2 hours a day — with news programming, during times of national crisis, even light news viewers flock to the 24-hour news channels for the latest information. During the recent period of protest and civil unrest, light news viewers’ time spent with CNN increased over fivefold, with MSNBC and Fox News almost fourfold. Clearly, linear TV in general, and cable news in particular, remains a vital source of information for the American public when major and ongoing news breaks.”
In all probability, in the second half of 2020, news channels will continue to be a source for millions of viewers. The pandemic continues to receive widespread coverage. In addition, there will be a contentious election, which means rallies, virtual rallies, three presidential debates, one vice presidential debate, two conventions, perhaps a few “October surprises,” followed by election day and its aftermath. Millions of viewers will stay tuned.
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