Pew Report: Network News Viewership Up, Cable News Viewership Down

By Merrill Knox Comment

pew report network evening news audienceIn addition to cable news revenues and local news consolidation, this year’s Pew Research State of the News Media report looks at average viewership for both network and cable news.

An average of 22.6 million viewers watched one of the three network newscasts in 2013, a 2.3% increase from 2012. Last year, evening news viewership was the highest it has been since 2008.

Both “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” and “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” grew their audiences compared to the previous year, while ratings leader “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” dipped slightly compared to 2012.

Morning news viewership is also up: the three broadcasts averaged 13.4 million viewers in 2013, an increase of 6.7% compared to 2012. Mirroring the evening newscasts, ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning” were both up compared to the previous year, while NBC’s “Today” was down.

After the jump, the report’s findings on cable news ratings.

For regular readers of TVNewser, there aren’t any surprises here: the report indicates that primetime viewership declined on all three cable news networks, as we told you in our year-end ratings posts for Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

The combined median primetime viewership of the three channels dropped 11% to about 3 million, the smallest it has been since 2007, according to Pew. The combined total day audience for the three channels held steady at about 2 million viewers.

pew report cable tv viewership