PEJ: Cable Viewership Up Slightly In ’05

By Brian 

When it comes to cable news audiences, PEJ is more interested in the median than in the averages.

“By the measures the cable channels use — simple averages — all the cable news audience was basically flat in 2005. By the method we prefer — looking at median audience — Fox News is still gaining, while CNN and MSNBC continue to lose audience,” the report’s intro states.

According to PEJ’s calculations, overall viewership of cable news grew 2.8 percent in 2005 over 2004. (FNC, CNN and MSNBC combined had 5.5 million viewers in 2005, compared to 5.35 in 2004.) The nets showed more substantial growth between 7 and 11pm.

Cable News Prime Time Median Audience:

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But, the study cautions, the overall prime time and daytime numbers are deceiving, “since all of the growth in viewership at the three main cable news operations was due to Fox News…The other channels actually saw declines in their median audience.” Here’s the full report…

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