A study conducted by
trade association TVB showed that viewership for the New York market's early
and late evening news programming outdrew the five highest-rated national cable
news networks combined by 18%.
That figure rose to
168% when combining the top 3 U.S. markets, and swelled to 434% for the top 10
U.S. markets. The study, which used Nielsen Media Research data from the most recent
May 2012 sweep period, also found that the cable networks -- CNN, CNBC, Fox News
Channel, HLN and MSNBC -- contributed only 3-8% of the total evening news
A separate TVB study
found that the audience for the local news in the top 10 U.S. markets is more
evenly distributed, with 38% adults 35-54 and 62% adults 55+ compared to cable's
audience, comprising 77% adults 55+.
"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," said
TVB president Steve Lanzano. "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
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