Big Three Nets' Evening News Dives Deepen

NBCABCCBSchartGraphicFive weeks ago (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Big Three Networks' combined evening news audiences dropped to below 20 million -- an audience about 5% less than what Matt Drudge in the summer of 2006 headlined as “TV’s Lowest Week.”

Three weeks ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), their combined audience came in at 19.61 million, down over 12% from the previous year.

For the week of May 3, the combined total fell further, to the point where they're one more really bad week away from hitting an all-time low -- a low that was "achieved" in mid-June of last year (Source -- Media Bistro, week of May 3, 2010; week of May 4, 2009):

BigThreeNetsRatings050310v050409

The May 3, 2010 combined total audience is less than 2% higher than the 19.06 million of June 15, 2009. The 25-54 demo audience is less than 200,000 above that same week.

Those who properly point out that the audience figures cited here are much larger than seen on cable news networks can take some comfort and solace in the following:

  • Just 10 years ago, the nets' evening news audience was about 12 million larger in a country with a population that was about 9% smaller.
  • At this point, it's likely that many people who continue to watch these shows, other than the brave souls at the Media Research Center who do it so the rest of us don't have to, are lost causes to conservatism. Otherwise, they couldn't bear sitting through what Brian, Diane, and Katie constantly feed them. The fact that their numbers are shrinking may mean that more people are open to sensible conservative arguments.
  • Though it's difficult to gauge, it seems that right and center-right new media outlets are gathering a bit of a head of steam compared to the leftist counterparts.

Anyway, the regularly scheduled summer viewing slump is only a month away. Two words: Faster please.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.