This edition of Nielsen’s Local Watch Report focuses on news consumption. News viewing increased from 2015 to 2016 and has shown continued growth in early 2017. But growth isn’t the only good news here.
Perhaps the more astonishing fact is that local news on local broadcast TV stations is the place where people spend the most time consuming news on TV. By far, local news reaches more adults than both national broadcast network news and cable news. In fact, in an average week in the first quarter of 2017, local news reached 40% of persons 25- 54. This compares to 32% for national broadcast news and 17% for cable news. In the same time period, adults spent two hours and 22 minutes watching local news, which is more than double the amount of time spent watching national broadcast news.
Analyzing individual markets, we found that Memphis was the top Set Meter market for time spent watching local news, at three hours and 55 minutes per person per week while Cleveland was the top Local People Meter (LPM) market at three hours and 27 minutes.
We also looked at news consumption through personal digital media. Adults reached by local news on TV surpasses the reach of people consuming news on smartphones and PCs 4 to 1.
Trends in News Viewing
Adults in the top 25 markets are spending more than 44 billion minutes consuming news in a typical week—up 11% from full-year 2016, and 25% from full-year 2015.