It appears that “subdued volatility” is hurting not only bank trading revenues. Two years after CNBC announced that it would no longer rely on Nielsen ratings to measure its daytime audience (just after we reported its viewership had tumbled the most on record), turning to rival Cogent Reports instead, the latest data reveals that the decline for the financial channel has continued, and in the past quarter CNBC delivered 152,000 total daily viewers, its lowest viewership since 1991 for the 28-year-old network.
At the time when CNBC switched away from Nielsen, it complained that the media tracking company failed to track “out of home” viewing in locations such as airports, gyms, restaurants and offices. Well, with all viewers taken into account, the picture, pardon the pun, deteriorated further, and in the past quarter, CNBC delivered its lowest rated quarter since 1991, and in total viewers, had its lowest rated quarter in 22 years, dating back to 1995
And while the reason for CNBC’s ongoing decline is unclear, an unexpected winner has emerged in Fox Business News, which continued its winning streak against CNBC by drawing more viewers for the fourth consecutive quarter, and in the last quarter average 187,000 total viewers across the business day (9:30am-5pm), up 26%, while the same category at CNBC saw a 14% decline to 152,000 total viewers. For the month of September, FBN averaged 195,000 total Business Day viewers, 23% higher than CNBC, which had 158,000 total viewers, which was its second lowest rated month ever.
It may come as a surprise to some, but “Lou Dobbs Tonight” continues to be the top-rated program on business television in both total viewers and in the 25–54-year-old demographic. Furthermore Dobbs, a longtime CNN anchor before jumping to Fox Business in 2011, has led the way in total viewers on business TV for 57 straight weeks.
With markets hitting new record ignoring natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and rising tensions with North Korea, FBN closed out the month of September with its 11th monthly win over CNBC. Curiously, CNBC remains the only business channel showing yearly declines, while all other networks have double-digit gains across the board for the year, notably down 14% in Business Day viewers over their performance last year, with 177,000 total viewers.
We’ll leave it up to readers to come up with the reasons behind CNBC’s chronic decline.