A new report puts a dollar figure — and it’s a big one — on how much Donald Trump was worth to cable news networks in 2016.
The New York Post reports that the three major cable news outlets — Fox News, CNN and MSNBC — saw their ad revenue surge by a combined 40% last year — or $394 million. The data was reported by the ad measurement firm Standard Media Index.
The average number of viewers tuning in on an all-day basis was 4.91 million, according to SMI.
That’s 15% higher than the 4.26 million viewers who tuned in to the three cable nets in prime time during the 2008 election, according to Pew Research. Again, that comparison is all-day vs. prime time, so the actual increase is presumably much higher.
“The added viewers tuned in to see raucous Republican primary debates, Trump-Hillary Clinton debates, candidate rallies and an unpredictable election night,” The Post notes.
“Fox News, the perennial ratings winner among the three, saw advertising revenue increase by 26 percent last year, according to SMI, bringing total ad revenue to $621 million,” the report adds, noting: “The network ended the year as the most-watched cable network of all for the first time, topping even ESPN.”
CNN reportedly saw its ad revenue spike by 58%, or $196 million, to $536 million, while ad revenue at MSNBC surged 48%, or $71 million, to $219 million, according to SMI.
All-day viewership at Fox News reportedly rose 36% from 2015 to an average of 2.48 million in 2016, while CNN was up 77% to 1.3 million and MSNBC grew 87% to 1.133 million.