2013 Is a Year CNBC Would Like to Forget... But 2014 Could Be Worse

December 16, 2013 1:13 PM EST
The early results are in and despite being a huge year for gains in the stock market, ratings for CNBC will likely hit 20-year lows in 2013.

Early data from Nielsen Media Research showed that in the key 25-54 advertising demo for total day ratings, CNBC only averaged 39,000 viewers. This is the lowest since 1993. It is not just the key demo that is lagging, though. For total viewers, CNBC had only 129,000 viewers in P2+ for total day ratings. This is the lowest since 1994.

While much can be said about the secular trend of viewers moving their consumption online, the year-over-year decline paints a more gruesome picture. From last year, CNBC's ratings dropping 22% in the key demo and 17% in total viewers for the total day. This would seem to fly in the face of executives arguing that viewers are moving online. CNBC.com web traffic appears to be flat to modestly higher year-over-year, according to data from Quantcast.

Many of CNBC's key shows are also seeing major ratings declines; some to the point that executives may need to remove or re-work the shows as could be the case with Jim Cramer's Mad Money and Larry Kudlow's The Kudlow Report. Below are the numbers:

  • Squawk Box (6a-9a) is down 13% in total viewers and 26% in the demo.
  • Squawk on the Street (9a-11a) is down 13% in total viewers and down 24% in the demo.
  • Mad Money (6-7p) is down 32% in total viewers and down 34% in the demo.
  • The Kudlow Report (7-8p) is down 34% in total viewers and down 45% in the demo.

    The data above suggests two possible things - either retail investors are simply not interested in the day to day fluctuations of the market after getting burned many times in the past, or they are turning off CNBC in favor of other alternatives like Bloomberg TV, Fox Business Network and the web.

    Problems could be exacerbated at CNBC in 2014 amid the departure of key talent and the former face of CNBC, Maria Bartiromo. It is wildly expected she is headed to Fox Business Network, although a deal has not been formally announced.

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    Jim Cramer, Lawrence (Larry) Kudlow, Maria Bartiromo


    CNBC decline
    Tony Simi on 2014-02-06 13:49:37
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    I stopped watching CNBC several years ago when it stopped reporting facts and became a political right versus left politically preachy garbage. as an educated person I need accurate data REAL information. I don't need political personal opinion! I miss the Facts I miss real reporting! sadly Tony Simi ex viewer

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