From James Hibberd at Entertainment
Here’s how the networks themselves are faring overall compared to this point last year in the adult demo:
NET ..THEN .. NOW
Some analysts blame the fall on indie broadcasting (on cable and streaming networks), others blame it on the election cycle, “drawing attention away from entertainment products.”
Reality check: Indie broadcasting is cutting deep for sure. But more generally, in the days of the handheld, news and entertainment consumers go wherever they want for whatever they like. That was bound to have an impact on big networks marketing passive TV to the faceless masses.
The big networks are in the position of a person operating a variety store in the age of the mega-mall. There’s still a niche but that’s all it is – in the corner on the way to the subway barns.
As for the election, it probably doesn’t make the difference the networks would like to suppose.
Had the Big 5 been willing to listen to viewers’ concerns more and preach at them less, the election might even have helped their ratings.
Their enterprises are doomed in their present form. A landslide Clinton victory would not bring back a mass audience that has ceased to exist.
On the bright side, they will at least get a chance to ridicule Trump supporters while reshaping their resumes for PR jobs, etc.
See also: Canadian mainstream media free fall continues Unforced errors are a significant part of the problem.