Cable News Revenues Rise Despite Minimal Ratings Growth

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Cable news revenue far outstripped audience growth in the past year. Cable news revenues were up 9 per cent last year even though ratings were only up 1 per cent, according to Pew’s annual State Of The News Media report.

How has it managed to weather the storm?

Cable news has a stable business model. According to Pew, cable news pulled in $1.8 billion in subscription fees and another $1.4 billion in advertising revenues. That model may sound familiar—it’s how newspapers have traditionally operated. However, unlike newspapers, cable is gaining subscribers (fees were up 8 per cent). As we’ve discussed before, there is no evidence that “cord cutting” is actually happening. 

Other takeaways:

  • Online news seems to be monetizing better than most people think
  • There is no evidence to suggest advertisers are irrationally holding on to print (revenues for newspapers and magazines are falling faster than their audiences)

Click here to read our note on why cable TV isn’t going anywhere →

Pew State Of The News

Photo: Pew State Of The News Media

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