Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bad News Means Big Business for CNBC

This from MediaBistro:

"More from the August ratings reports. During Wall Street's rocky month, CNBC's 5am-7 pm ET programming ave. raged 87,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo. According to the net, its their 'best August since 2002 and up +50% versus August 2006.'

"Other highlights are in the press release after the jump... (note too, the caveat at the end of the release about Nielsen's audience universe being limited to 'in-home' measurement.)

'CNBC HAS BEST AUGUST IN FIVE YEARS.' August Ratings More Than Tripled Since 2005, ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., August 28, 2007---During one of the most volatile months the markets have seen in years, viewers turned to CNBC, First in Business Worldwide for fast, accurate, actionable and unbiased business news. CNBC's Business Day (M-F 5a-7p ET) had its best August in five years, and August ratings have more than tripled since August 2005. For August 2007, CNBC's Business Day (M-F 5a-7p) averaged 87,000 A25-54, hitting its best August since 2002 and up +50% versus August 2006. All 6a-7p CNBC programs had their highest August time period delivery since at least 2003."

Okay, I got carried away, but I found these numbers astonishing -- bad news resulted in big numbers for CNBC. Such numbers may have turned into multipliers for the often struggling network.

This validates a point that I make quite often in this blog. Consider these headlines:
"Why the Media Hates Bad News"

"The Half Empty World of the Media"

"When It Comes To Real Estate: Bad News or Ridiculous Expectations?"
"As the Economy Enjoys Good News, Critics Receive Bad"
Etc., etc., etc.
The rise in CNBC's numbers is directly linked to the insanity in the Stock Market. This is exactly why the media continues to do negative spins on the news. Anything to attract attention. The worse it is, the more viewers it attracts, and it is usually done in an irresponsible fashion, in my opinion.
It isn't just the media at fault, however, we reinforce their bad behavior by giving them ratings like those above. We have to say more than we are merely "tired" of bad news and start punishing them for being such passionate promoters of such by consuming media that offers more balanced and even positive perspectives.
P.S.: Do you know why August 2002 beat this rating period? It was because it was during the technology bubble burst of that year.

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