Despite a steady erosion of viewers in morning, early evening and late night, broadcast TV continues to be popular for local news consumption, according to a recent Pew study.
Even though local TV affiliates have lost on average 12% of their viewers since 2007, there has been an increase in viewers – just not at the traditional time slots.
The Pew study points to a growth in local TV news viewership at stations that have newscasts very early in the morning, at midday and at 7 pm.
Local TV stations’ expansion of news programming to nontraditional hours has driven the growth in 2014:
* 320 stations aired news at 4:30 pm – up 18% from 2013
* 328 stations aired local news at midday – up 11% from 2013
* 357 stations had a 7 pm newscast – up 13% from 2013
The Pew study shows the biggest increase in news viewership was during the 7 pm time slot – 11% – compared to 2013.
Even with these gains, the total number of viewers for these dayparts don’t come close to the the averages in a traditional time slot.
While 4:30 am newscasts averaged 3.1 million viewers, 11 pm newscasts attract 23.9 million.