What the 2016 Election Meant for Cable News Ad Revenue

By Chris Ariens 

Adweek has the 2016 numbers from Standard Media Index which tracks TV ad revenue.

Broadcast revenue was up 4.6 percent in 2016 vs. 2015, while cable was up 4 percent. The big drivers included the Olympics and the election with the news genre seeing a 14 percent spike. From Adweek’s Jason Lynch:

On the cable side, the election resulted in big ad revenue bumps for all of the news networks. CNN saw a 57.8 percent increase, while Fox News was up 25.7 percent and MSNBC soared 47.9 percent.


FNC’s percentage growth is not as great as CNN and MSNBC, because the network starts from a higher base (and rate). NBC had the biggest ad revenue increase of any broadcast network. It was up 20 percent due to the Summer Olympics and the five NFL games it added with Thursday Night Football.