September 28, 2004

Fox News Amazing Success

Well, not really. Here's the story:

For the first time in its history, Fox News Channel beat the combined competition in primetime during the third quarter of 2004, with major headlines of the summer including the national political conventions and a brutal string of hurricanes.

According to Nielsen Media Research, Fox News averaged 1.8 million viewers, while CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and Headline News averaged a combined total of 1.7 million. The quarter ended Sunday.

Paul, posting at Wizbang, tells us:


I'll probably have to defend this point later but this really shows that FoxNews is not the "far right wing" that the liberals love to call it. In fact, the opposite is true. When a single news source gets over half of all viewers, it is, by definition, in sync with the population at large.

He's right a little defense is in order.

Let's see, the US population is somewhat over 294 million. About 1.7 million watched Fox. That works out to a little over 1/2 per cent of the population. Hardly what I'd call "in sync with the population at large" and clearly Fox, while large in comparison to other cable news channels, is serving a pretty small niche market. It is not at all unreasonable to think this audience is primarily of one particular persuasion.

Update (9/29): Paul defends by saying "...the defense writes itself." I don't see any sign of it though....

Posted by Steve on September 28, 2004

It's more accurate to say Fox has a monopoly on its segment of the viewership. Other TV news outlets compete against each other as their political views are similar, but Fox has no competition as the conservative TV news source.

Posted by Walter at September 30, 2004 1:18 PM

Sure, Walter, it does make sense to describe it this way.

What really bothered me about the original post is that it tried to equate the small world of cable news to the population as a whole. Heck, these 3.5 million viewers are a pretty small percentage of the total television viewers let alone the significantly larger portion of the population that wasn't watching TV at all.

Posted by Steve at September 30, 2004 2:29 PM
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