Tag Archives: President

The 2016 Presidential Election and the Media

By: Jim Bono, Vice
President, Research, Crown Media Family Networks

The year 2016 featured what many called the ‘most important
election of our time.’  However, this
nation continues to be split by political affiliation and party.  This was extremely apparent in social media
circles as supporters of Trump, Clinton and Sanders were extremely passionate
in their opinions of the debates, news coverage and finally the election
itself.  The mainstream media also had
major differences of opinion ‘ depending on if you were watching CNN or
FOXNews.  Yet, the American people were still
glued to their TV sets, watching the primaries, the debates and as much news
coverage as they could to follow this presidential race.
The cable news networks
definitely benefited from 2016 being an election year.  In 4th Qtr 2016, MSNBC, FOXNews
and CNN displayed significant year-to-year over the previous 4th
Qtr.  Among that key advertiser
demographic of Women 25-54, MSNBC showed the largest growth, up +93%, followed
by CNN (+81%) and FOXNews (+61%).  Among Total Viewers, FOXNews was the
most watched cable network in 4th Qtr 2016 with 1.7 million
viewers.  In fact, FOXNews, MSNBC and CNN
were the top 3 cable networks among pure total viewer growth for 4Q’16 vs.
4Q’15.

However, by the time the election was over, it seemed the
American people had enough.  The bias,
melodrama, inaccuracies, and outrage that the television news journalists
showed on election night proved to be intense, and eventually took its toll on
the American viewers.
According to an article in The Washington Times, an analyst for
YouGov wrote:
‘As America deals with the
fallout of the election, 27 percent of the country is actively trying to avoid
the news.’
36% of Democrats were
‘making an effort to avert their gaze from newspapers and television news,’
while 21% of Republicans are also trying to avoid the news.
The American
people were cranky and needed something in the media to put them in a better
mood.  They starting looking for that
‘feel good’ environment on television. 
And there were two cable networks that offered it to them ‘ Hallmark
Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries!
The two cable
networks, owned by Crown Media, had just launched their annual holiday
campaigns at the beginning of the month, just prior to the election.  Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas proved
to be a major success, premiering 19 new original holiday movies which
consistently ranked in the top of their time period, occasionally beating even
the broadcast networks.  
In fact,
Hallmark Channel had the #1 movie of the week for 10 straight weeks, and 11 of
those new premieres ranked as the #1 cable telecast of the day that they aired.  Furthermore, for all of 4th Qtr
2016, Hallmark Channel was HIGHEST
RATED cable network (behind FOXNews) among HH rtg, and the #1 watched cable network among W25-54!
Hallmark Movies
& Mysteries Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas campaign brought of 7 new original
holiday movies, which averaged a 1.6 HH rtg, and ranked #3 in their Sunday
night 9-11pm time period.  For a
mid-sized cable network in just over 67 million homes, HMM delivered big
numbers, outperforming many larger fully distributed cable networks like
Lifetime, A&E, TLC and Bravo!
As a safe place
for viewers to go and watch that ‘feel good’ programming, the family friendly
networks also experienced significant year-to-year growth, adding more new total viewers 4Q’16
vs. 4Q’15 than any other non-news cable network.
Daypart: Total Day
4Q’16
4Q’15
Yr-Yr
Viewing Source
P2+ (000)
P2+ (000)
Inc
FOX NEWS CHANNEL
1,675
1,190
+485
MSNBC
724
399
+325
CNN
868
575
+293
HALLMARK MOVIES &
MYSTERIES
431
292
+139
HALLMARK CHANNEL
945
811
+134
INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY
717
627
+90
TV LAND
483
396
+87
FOX SPORTS 1
248
175
+73
NICK JR
409
353
+56
FOX BUSINESS NETWORK
146
95
+51
Source: Nielsen Live+SD data, top 10 cable networks

So while 2016 was a banner year for the cable news
networks, and as social media thrived due to election coverage, viewers still
want something that will let them escape from the negativity that many media
outlets continue to push upon the American people day after day.