Local TV tops for video news


NewsAlmost three-fourths of America checks in with their local television news program at least once a month, putting it ahead of the network programs and far ahead of cable. But according to the PewResearch Journalism Project, cable news fans spend the most time watching.

Here’s how the top-line percentages fall:
71%: Local TV news
65%: Network TV news
38%: Cable TV news
Source: PewResearch Journalism Project

Although local TV news has nearly double the number of viewers than its cable counterpart, cable viewers spend more than twice as much time per day with their medium. Network viewers are tuned in fractionally longer than local viewers.

The stats:
25.3 minutes: Cable TV news
12.4 minutes: Network TV news
12.3 minutes: Local TV news
Source: PewResearch Journalism Project

Pew noted that the true news junkies among us make use of the cable outlets, and for more than an hour a day. However, Pew points to Nielsen prime time ratings to note that much of the cable audience is not watching straight news – instead, they are tuning in to the ideological opinion-oriented programming found primarily on Fox and MSNBC during that time of day.
Pew also notes that heavy local and network news fans also go to cable, and spend about 11 more minutes per day there than they do watching broadcast outlets.

The gap between heavy news users is wide and it gets wide rapidly. Here are the average viewing times per medium:
Local TV news
Heavy viewers: 21.8 minutes-per-day
Medium viewers: 6.5 minutes-per-day
Light viewers: 1.2 minutes-per-day
Network TV news
Heavy viewers: 31.6 minutes-per-day
Medium viewers: 5.1 minutes-per-day
Light viewers: 0.6 minutes-per-day
Cable TV news
Heavy viewers: 72.4 minutes-per-day
Medium viewers: 3.2 minutes-per-day
Light viewers: 0.2 minutes-per-day
Source: PewResearch Journalism Project

Finally, the study looked at crossover. Many but not quite half of the two broadcast outlets also watch cable, while more than three-quarters of the cable audience also tune into the broadcast outlets.
Local TV news
82% also watch Network
44% also watch Cable
Network TV news
90% also watch Local
44% also watch Cable
Cable TV news
82% also watch Local
76% also watch Cable
Source: PewResearch Journalism Project