With Total Viewers Sliding To 7 Year Lows, Is CNBC Fading Into Obscurity?

Tyler Durden's picture


In the past 24 hours, some readers have been surprised to learn that as Jeff Reeves of InvestorPlace states, total Q2 CNBC viewership as calculated by Nielsen, has tumbled to to the lowest it has been since Q3 2005. This merely confirms that the trendline in our periodic observations of CNBC traffic was more than merely seasonal or VIX-related: it has been one long secular decline, peaking in the quarter of Lehman's demise and down hill ever since.

Reeves focuses on some specifics:

  • Squawk Box (6-9 a.m.) is supposed to prime traders before the bell. The show posted its lowest rated its time block since Q4 2006.
  • The Closing Bell (3-5 p.m.) is supposed to wrap up the day’s action. The slot posted its fifth-lowest rating in total viewers and second-lowest ratings in the key 25-54 demographic since 1997.
  • Fast Money (5-6 p.m.) is focused almost specifically on swing trading stocks. That time slot showed the lowest rating for the 25-54 demo since 1997 — and lowest in total viewers since Fast Money launched in 2006.

Yet none of the above compares to the Nielsen-sourced data Zero Hedge compiled showing CNBC viewerships since the beginning of 2004.

The chart speaks thousands of words about the shrinking viewer engagement with either CNBC the financial news station, or CNBC the financial news station.

What the clearly chart shows is that despite occasional risk flaring episodes, and a general preponderance of either 'good news' or 'bad news' regimes, the prevailing trendline is one of anti-Gartman proportions: from top left to bottom right.

Reeves attempts to give some explanations of his own explaining this troubling for Comcast trend:

It must be noted that it’s not their fault the market is miserable, and bad ratings don’t necessarily reflect bad shows. After all, we don’t blame builders like Pulte or Lennar for causing the housing crisis with poorly made homes.

It’s also worth noting that many cable networks are experiencing a viewership drain as many younger folks take their eyeballs to the Internet — and CNBC is hardly ignoring the move to online content. Its website gets some 8 million unique visitors every month, and a shrewd partnership with Yahoo! is teaming up the megasite Yahoo Finance with CNBC to tap into an even more massive chunk of the financial media audience.

But for whatever reason, investors are tuning out CNBC on their TV sets. That’s further proof that the market is jaded, that volume will remain low in the summer and that most investors are scared or nervous about what to do next.

Zero Hedge being Zero Hedge will add one more: perhaps CNBC's viewers have gotten tired of getting just one side of the newsflow: the always rosy, and over the past 5 years, always wrong one.

Which also explains the growth of alternative financial media venues: those unconstrained in the type of data they can report on and analyze. More importantly: those unconstrained by what producers scream in their earpiece. In retrospect, they have much to be grateful to CNBC for- if for whatever reason the financial channel was not hemorrhaging eyeballs, there would be no new captive audience to, well, capture.

Finally, whatever the reason for the endless bleed in CNBC viewership one thing we can be sure of: the advertisers - that lifeblood of every media outlet - are certainly not happy.

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Wed, 06/27/2012 - 18:20 | 2566630 Sircornflakes
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With Total Viewers Sliding To 7 Year Lows, Is CNBC Fading Into Obscurity?





God, I hope so.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 18:26 | 2566644 monkeyboy
monkeyboy's picture

Muwhahahahaha! Good!

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 18:32 | 2566668 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Cheerleaders Neer Being Cancled?

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 18:46 | 2566708 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Jim Cramer is completely unwatchable.  Good thing they have in on 3-4 times a day...and put him in the late Mark Haines seat.  Yikes.  Someone seriously needs to ask the board at COMCAST...what's the plan here?  And someone from the board should seriously recommend that Cramer get himself on Abilify immediately.  

And the screaming thing on that network...good grief.  It is as if they are trying to make up for a complete lack of content and understanding of the current shit stew markets by YELLING ALL THE TIME [Sullivan, Wapner, Cramer].  What the hell is going on at that place, seriously?

And please...for God's sake...someone just tell Joe Teranova to stop getting backwards every day on every trade.  I literally wince every time that guy makes a call.

You got your Closing Bell segment tanking real hard ever since Maria "sexiest hair alive" Bartiromo simply lost all curiousity about things...faithfully putting on the bull/bull debate for every final hour of the market session, along with Bill "I should have stayed retired" Griffith.  Painful.

Not only is everything on the network completely useless to a trader, the whole broadcasting day is just getting more and more unwatchable.  So...COMCAST...you overpaid to become majority shareholder of this mess...what the F are you going to do?  Might I suggest....SOMETHING?

Thank God for ZH! 

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 18:50 | 2566721 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

From your astute description you sound like an avid watcher? - They need more like you!

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 18:52 | 2566731 Cdad
Cdad's picture

For years, yes.  More recently...I tossed my tv in the dumpster, finally.  However, I have a CNBC stream now...and sometimes watch...until, like I said, the pain of it just causes me to shut it down.  It is crazy painful to watch.


Wed, 06/27/2012 - 18:55 | 2566736 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

reflects the volume in the markets....vapor.  

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 19:09 | 2566754 Popo
Popo's picture

I blame it entirely on Lauren Lyster's breasts -- which have converted millions over to RT.

Well... That, and the fact that she actually has the only financial show worth watching.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 19:31 | 2566821 Savyindallas
Savyindallas's picture

Mainstream gals are not very talented -ever since Hollywood ws taken over by the hebes, most girls had to suck a lot of old geezer cock and sleep their way to the top-same way for young studs. Alternative media allows nice, talented girls the opportunity to be successful.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 19:35 | 2566827 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

People tired of MS media's lies about the economy. The box cries, "Buy buy buy" as the stock crashes. Such a pity.... NOT!!!

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 20:28 | 2566938 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

I just try to catch some highlights of the guys I like here or on Youtube.  Santelli, Peter Schiff, Marc Faber, Jim Rogers, Kyle Bass, etc...  If I want Kool aid, I'll go to my refrigerator.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 21:41 | 2567097 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Lauren Lyster's tits are really nice.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 06:24 | 2567605 i-dog
i-dog's picture

One does have to laugh at how the camera always starts under the table on her [grrrreat] legs ... then pans up to whatever else is happening. LOL ... even RT knows what viewers really want from a financial news program.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 06:46 | 2567624 GCT
GCT's picture

LOL i-dog you got that right!  At my age ass and tits are over rated!  Lauren does have some brains to go with those great looks though.  Tough to get your news from Russian Times LOLOLOL! 

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 21:42 | 2567100 Michael
Michael's picture

A few minutes a day I put it on just for the numbers and imediately hit the mute button.

But you can't get away without seeing the commentators jumping around with their arms and hands flailing around like it's a Gorilla Trade infomercial. Too pathetic to watch.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 22:24 | 2567160 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

At one point I thought I should become a daytrader so that I could sit on my ass and stare at screens all early morning and afternoon in PST, and be out skateboarding at 2pm by market close in NY. Further research showed me that I stood no chance against the evil genius Russian algorithms and seasoned real-person traders and sitch,

But anyway, the the moral of the story is that it was about the only time in my life I watched CNBC, when I performed a two-day trial of being a daytrader. And holy shit dude, the entire time it was so annoying... how do people stand watching that garbage?

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 22:37 | 2567192 Stackers
Stackers's picture

Modern day snake oil salesmen.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 03:55 | 2567534 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

forget day trading unless you are riding the QE directional wave.


Admit it you are just speculating while people like James Simons of RenTech has machines with mathematically advantaged algorythms

  • MIT
  • PhD in Math from Berkeley at age 23
  • Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry (only once in 3 years)
  • has his own theory...Chern-Simons theory in condensed matter physics
  • hires world renowned geniuses who understand stuff like hidden markov model in the realm of machine learning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_Markov_model)
Thu, 06/28/2012 - 13:11 | 2569748 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

But is he as smart as the Nobel Prize winning economists who ran Long Term Capital Management?

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 01:04 | 2567424 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

CNBC is anathema to a day trader. I don't even turn that shit on. Bullshit and misdirection is all it is. I have a favorite blog I tune into during the day because there are real traders there, posting their trades or at least their analysis of the market all day long. I would quit day trading, like you did, if CNBC was my source of market information.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 03:33 | 2567518 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

This was after nine elevs and before ZH and more widespread "alternative news," and people (including myself) hadn't yet realized WTF was going on. You might say, I was looking at it like a sheep.

Being an apt programmer and having far more economic knowledge now, I'm probably capable of competing in the day trading market now. But I have things to engineer first...

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 04:43 | 2567559 brucef9321
brucef9321's picture

which blog?


Thu, 06/28/2012 - 23:32 | 2572226 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

Daneric's Elliott Waves. Lots of wavers but also many other TA's with alternate viewpoints. There are some very sharp people who comment throughout the day. Also some idiots, but they're easy to identify and ignore.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 23:49 | 2567326 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Santelli, Peter Schiff, Marc Faber, Jim Rogers, Kyle Bass, etc..

They were worth it but I dumped tard TV years ago.  Guy Adami was sometime funny on Fast Money along with Jeff Mackey when he was coked up or high on something.

TV is shit and the only news even cloe to reality is RT.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 02:00 | 2567465 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

When Santelli finally leaves, it will be all over for CNBC. Comcast will have to try to buy Blommberg, or something.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 07:30 | 2567705 Baghdad-Bob121
Baghdad-Bob121's picture

Santelli is the ONLY reason I still watch CNBC.  In my opinion CNBC views are leaving is the LEFTIST lean...  AND obviously in bed with the DNC!  Look at MSNBC, CNN, NY Times, et al... Numbers are crap and losing $$$.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 07:30 | 2567698 bdc63
bdc63's picture

CNBC is fucked up on SOOOOOO many levels they are beyond fixing. 

I still have it on in the background though almost daily -- but ALWAYS while I'm also reading ZH postings.  I feel like I make better decsions by know both the "truth" that the sheeple are being fed and the 'truth' that is ZH.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 19:36 | 2566830 Cursive
Cursive's picture


LL is the bomb.  And I'm liking Parmy Olson in a librarian kind of way.  CNBS has a permabull programming constraint and can't compete with new media.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 21:40 | 2567095 monkeyshine
monkeyshine's picture

HFT Computers do not watch TV.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 03:38 | 2567520 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture



In the interest of being fair and balanced, I think it's important for ZHers to understand that television viewers have been in decline at ALL stations, especially at News Corpse - that disgustingly partisan, vile, tabloid hack operation where bobble-headed carnival barkers disguised as reputable news anchors feign faux outrage and drum up faux McCarthyism-style garbage to gullible, narrow-minded, easily angered conservatives who are bitterly mad that a NIGGER-HITLER is living in their WHITE house. "I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!"  

Last month, the prime time Nielson ratings had Faux News at their lowest level since 2008 with a 20% decline in the all important 18-49 age bracket. ABC was down 21%. CBS and NBC were only down 8% and 3% respectively. CNN, who pioneered the 24 hour news station, has been on a terminal decline for years.  Executives at all stations are looking for excuses, everything from the DVR to the distractions of social media to the internet in general. Whatever the reason, TV viewers are in decline across the ENTIRE SPECTRUM of channels. The decline at CNBC is no different than anywhere else.



Thu, 06/28/2012 - 04:49 | 2567562 maxcody
maxcody's picture

Not trure!  FOX news has taken away from all!

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 04:48 | 2567563 maxcody
maxcody's picture

Not trure!  FOX news has taken away from all!

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 04:58 | 2567568 maxcody
maxcody's picture

 - you are out to lunch!  I have relatives working at CNN and it is very bad.  The Uber Left has CBS,NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN and they are dying just like Greece.  I watch CNBC and have written them about the UBer left hitmen!  They all go to the same failed economic church!


Wed, 06/27/2012 - 23:18 | 2567268 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

I blame it entirely on Lauren Lyster's breasts -- which have converted millions over to RT.

CNBC has heard your comment and YOU SHOULD KNOW that it is thanks to you that for July sweeps week Cramer will now be going topless.

Thanks again.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 01:01 | 2567422 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

This is what you do best.... stick to it. You'll be better off...

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 08:15 | 2567811 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

Keep denying the sun dummy.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 09:49 | 2568118 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The solar output and the temperature record have diverged over the past ~30 years:


You would have been a dandy court jester...


Wed, 07/04/2012 - 15:04 | 2587287 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

The Cloud Mystery

"In this film, the UN climate concensus is seriously challenged..."

And you'd make a helluva of a Statist Science Pimp...oh, wait...

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 20:34 | 2566959 PC Load Letter
PC Load Letter's picture

Here is a summary of a typical CNBC day:

Jim Cramer - telling people to buy stocks near 52 week highs and sell them at 52 weeks lows

Sharon Epperson - yelling at the top of her lungs from the oil pit all day

Maria B - "Stocks are off the lows of the day"

Economist from some bank - S&P is going to 1600 by year end

Not surprised their ratings suck. They add zero value


Wed, 06/27/2012 - 23:33 | 2567260 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

You forgot Steve Liesman worshiping the Bernak's every word, and Becky Quicky fluffing Warren Buffet once a month.

I would tune in to watch Rick Santelli interview Jon Corzine from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, a Fight Club moment to be sure.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 02:02 | 2567468 Rahm
Rahm's picture

PPV, i'd order that up!

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 07:09 | 2567655 Rip van Wrinkle
Rip van Wrinkle's picture

If John Corzine appeared on thee CBOT floor, he'd be taken out in a wooden box.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 19:28 | 2566815 Savyindallas
Savyindallas's picture

formerly addicted to Cramer? Even the crack addict dope fiends look down on your type. Good luck in your recovery. Your odds are very good  -truth, reality and honesty will usually get you off that bad habit for good.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 20:41 | 2566971 youngman
youngman's picture

You missed the Apple all day talk...its Apple..Apple..Apple..all day ..all night..maryanne

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 19:48 | 2566853 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

I turned it off years before I discovered Zero Hedge. All that yelling and old fucks muttering vague and has no direction.

To add salt to the wound, having to pay for satellite TV and pay for this shit network.

And the giggling cleavage needs to go too.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 21:27 | 2567073 Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

"Good thing they have in on 3-4 times a day...and put him in the late Mark Haines seat."

Jim Cramer, former Goldman Sucks (and I agree, totally unwatchable)- what really happened to Mark Haines anyhow?

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 22:28 | 2567171 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



a Truth seeker died of a broken heart.

May he rest in peace.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 01:47 | 2567458 Yamaha
Yamaha's picture

Correct on all counts.

The shows are like listening to my mother-in-law scream and addes the same value to my life........

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 04:10 | 2567545 jamezelle
jamezelle's picture

someone just tell Joe Teranova to stop getting backwards every day on every trade . 

I literally wince every time that guy makes a call.

Then you should make a put!


Wed, 06/27/2012 - 19:31 | 2566822 Animal Cracker
Animal Cracker's picture

Definitely.  Just like the newspapers.

And it's not just because of technology - although that has greased the guillotine.  It's because nobody believes a fucking thing they "report" anymore.  And they can throw all the tits and ass they want at the screen - it's over.

They are replaying the demise of the porno mags.  Sure, they were good when that's all we had.  But when the technology allowed real people to challenge their bullshit, all the hard dicks left.

Just die, fuckers.  ZH is my new Bangbus.

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