Tom Blumer at BizzyBlog.com has the numbers and some analysis. I add a few comments below the star line.
Blumer begins - - -
You might think that a presidential election year might give the Big Three networks’ evening newscasts a shot in the arm.
You would be wrong.
Full-year figures released last week and available MediaBistro’s TVNewser showed yet another audience decline.
NBC’s small pickup is more than wiped out by the audience losses at ABC and CBS.
The first week of the new ratings year was better than the previous week, but the overall downward trend clearly continues [.]
Viewership should be strongest right now, but it isn’t. NBC’s decline is especially steep, and makes you wonder if the fever-swamp nuttiness of MSNBC is hurting the parent brand. …
Tom Blumer’s entire post’s here. Give it a look. He has statisical tables and concise, smart commentary.
I did some quick math on the year-over-year viewer numbers.
Rounding to the ten-thousand column and allowing that all of NBC’s 06/07 to 07/08 viewer gain came from people “migrating” from the other two networks leaves 540,000 viewers who during the year measured just stopped watching the evening network news.
The networks long viewer decline reminds me of something that’s happened over the past 30 or so years.
In 1975 people would say, “This is an important document (or package) that has to be there tomorrow. So I’ve got to us the U. S. Postal’s overnight service.”
Who’d say that now? It’s mostly U. P. S. and Fed Ex.
The networks are heading the way of U. S. Postal and for the same reason it’s no longer thought of when delivering something’s important: they’re unreliable.
I’d like to see recent data on the average age of network news viewers.
I be its continuing to rise.