Thursday, July 2, 2009

FOX News Is #1 In Cable News! (But What Does That Mean?)


Fox News has all the top 10 viewed cable news shows in the 2nd quarter of this year. But, if you look at the numbers this dominance is not all that dominating and probably doesn't worry too many Dems. Just take Fox News' most viewed show, believe it or not, the O'Reilly Factor. It draws about 3.2 million viewers per show. Here's why I don't think that's a significant number:

1) Those viewers probably don't change much, meaning, I would bet that mostly the same 3.2 million viewers tune in night in and night out. And I bet a lot of those viewers watch all the Fox News shows back to back to back. Just a guess.

2) I would guess that it's an older, conservative crowd watching Fox News. I know, I'm really going out on a limb there. That's just me, making wild, crazy assertions like that.

3) I think younger folks (and by that I mean under 45) get their news from a wide variety of sources and aren't married to just one news source. I would bet that many Fox News viewers only watch Fox News and go to Fox News online, if they're online at all. Why? Remember the media, according to many a conservative, is all liberal except for Fox News, which gives a "fair and balanced" news report.

4) The numbers have spiked recently for Fox News, probably because many ultra-conservatives are fearful that Obama's election signaled the beginning of the "end times" and they wanted to know where to go to be saved, so where else would they turn to but Fox News. Seriously though, I think the spike could possibly be explained by Obama's election in that it galvanized a passionate, albeit small, segment of the population that see his election as, at the very least, a very bad thing.

5) That's right I said small segment of the population. Even O'Reilly, their most viewed talking head, only gets about 3.2 million viewers. It's all about perspective. There are well over 300 million people in the USA today and that number is growing. O'Reilly draws about 1% of the population a night. 1%! And guess what? The USA's population is not growing because there are more and more old, conservative white people. What are the other 99% watching? What do they think about Obama? Or politics in general? Do they think about politics at all or only when there's a presidential election? The other 99% are probably watching CSI or American Idol. Or here's a crazy thought, they may not even be watching TV at all. I know weird but, there are people like that.

And hey, Jon Stewart gets about 2 million viewers a night, so that seems to fairly balance out Fox News' numbers a bit.