The world of news broadcasting has been significantly altered in recent years, with the decline of cable news viewership being one of the most prominent changes. In this blog post, we will delve into this phenomenon and explore the insights behind the declining viewership of cable news. We will analyze the various factors contributing to this shift, including the rise of digital media and changing viewer preferences. Join us as we uncover the reasons behind the decline of cable news viewership and what it means for the future of news broadcasting.
How Cable News Viewership Has Decreased Significantly: An Insight #
Cable news has been a news staple on American televisions for decades, relying on 24/7 programming and high-budget advertising campaigns to lure viewers to tune in regularly. However, in recent years, cable news viewership has seen a rapid decline, causing financial difficulties for networks and posing an uncertain future for this once-thriving industry.
Cable subscriptions have declined from 70% of American households in 2012 to under 40% in 2019, and the decline shows no signs of slowing down. In the first quarter of 2020, cable news viewership dropped by 18%, with Fox News experiencing a 19% drop, and MSNBC and CNN experiencing a 14% and 11% drop, respectively.
The Demographic Issue
One reason for this decline is that cable news networks mainly appeal to an older audience, lacking investment in appealing to younger generations. The average viewer age for Fox News is 65, and for CNN and MSNBC, it is 60 and 63, respectively. Younger viewers tend to opt for streaming news options or social media for their news updates, making cable news irrelevant to a significant demographic.
The decline of cable news viewership is not limited to the USA, but is a global phenomenon. In European Union countries, cable news channels have also seen a steady drop in viewership over the years, with Germany and France facing a 31% and 27% decline, respectively.
Future of Cable News
The future of cable news looks fraught with challenges. Streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime have disrupted the television industry, and if cable news networks cannot evolve and adapt, they may lose relevance completely. Furthermore, high license fees charged by cable news networks may not justify the low viewership numbers, leading to questions on the financial feasibility of the industry.
Sports viewership may help keep cable networks afloat for longer, but even that may not be sustainable. With the spread of COVID-19, the suspension of live sports events has negatively impacted cable news networks’ viewership, further complicating the financial outlook for the industry.
Innovations such as launching OTT platforms and incorporating statistics into broadcasting suggest different paths for retaining relevance. Over-the-top (OTT) platforms, such as CBS News and ABC News Live, offer 24/7 news coverage for viewers, bypassing traditional cable subscriptions altogether. Moreover, incorporating statistics into broadcasting, for example, election results, sports scores, and market statistics, offers a way for cable news networks to differentiate themselves from online platforms and engage viewers.
The decline of cable news viewership is a significant issue, and the future of the industry remains uncertain. However, with innovative thinking and an eagerness to adapt and evolve, there is hope for the survival of cable news.
Q1: Is cable news the only industry facing challenges from streaming services?
With the rise of streaming services, many industries are feeling the pressure to evolve and compete. Television and film industries, for instance, are also facing significant challenges to keep up with changing viewer habits and offer compelling content.
Q2: Can cable news survive without appealing to younger viewers?
The survival of cable news is dependent on appealing to new and younger viewers. With younger viewers opting for alternative news sources, cable news needs to adjust to remain relevant as an industry.
Q3: Are falling ratings the only problem for cable news networks?
Falling ratings are a significant problem, but declining ad revenue and high license fees charged by cable news networks have compounded the issue further.
Q4: Will sports programming be enough to keep cable networks afloat?
Sports programming may help keep cable networks afloat for the time being, but even that is not a sustainable solution as suspension and cancellation of live sports events during the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted cable news networks’ viewership.
Q5: Will cable news eventually become obsolete?
If cable news networks cannot evolve and adapt, they may lose relevance completely and become obsolete as more viewers turn to streaming news options or social media for their news updates.