• Why Low TV Ratings Are A Bullish Sign

    by  • August 29, 2013 11:09 am • Breaking News, Broad Market Analysis, Lighter Side, Quick Hits • 13 Comments

    The CNBC ratings for last month were just released and they are ugly.  I was on last Friday and the results for that day aren’t in yet, but I’m not holding my breath.  Still, the positive news to all of this is I find it incredibly bullish.

    We are in the midst of a huge bull market, yet, no one seems to care.  The whole thing is just ‘rigged’ and we’re only up because Bernanke is printing money.  Never mind the record earnings, low inflation, and low multiples.  The masses want nothing to do with stocks and that is a good sign.

    I just was getting started in the market back during the tech bubble in 1999.  But I’ve heard stories.  Everyone loved CNBC, everyone loved the anchors, and everyone loved stocks.  Guests were rock stars and it was like Cheers – everyone knew your name.  Well, that isn’t the case so much anymore.

    I actually touched on low ratings last August and surmised it was a good sign.  The SPX is up 15% over the past 12 months, so something must be working.

    According to the NY Post, CNBC ratings are at a 20 year low, attracting just 37,000 viewers aged 25-54 over a 24-hr period.  Here’s what they found.

    Particularly hard-hit programs were “Fast Money,” “Mad Money” and “The Kudlow Report” — each of which saw all-time lows in total viewers this month.

    Larry Kudlow’s 7 p.m. show fell the most, recording just 20,000 viewers in the key advertiser demographic, a 53 percent decline.

    Similarly, Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money” was off 38 percent, to 25,000 viewers, in the key demo. “Street Signs,” was the only show to retain its audience.

    Rival Fox Business Network drew an average of 10,000 viewers an hour in the same key demo. It also saw viewership declines.

    No doubt that is ugly.  At the same time, the CNN evening news audience has been cut in half the past 20 years.  People use Twitter or the Internet anymore for their news.  Backing this up, CNBC.com traffic was up 25%, while their tv ratings suffered.

    The overall low sentiment doesn’t stop there.  Consumer confidence came in at just 81.5 in August.  This is well beneath the 145 peak in 2000 and 115 peak in 2007.

    To sum it all up, for the SPX to be close to all-time highs and see confidence and tv ratings this low – it is another sign this bull market could have a long ways to go.



    13 Responses to Why Low TV Ratings Are A Bullish Sign

    1. Daniel
      September 1, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am

      Can you get comments from the author of “Mad money” ?
      My opinion, he looked like a mad monkey in cnbc cage !!! He is not talking, he is screaming on the TV screen. Garbage station produced garbage show ! There is no surprise the rating dropped.

    2. Sherlocktoo
      August 31, 2013 2:33 am at 2:33 am

      While all these records are being set on Wall Street, Main Street dies, the middle class is disappearing, and the end results will be, what?

      • Tony Nobaloney
        August 31, 2013 9:40 am at 9:40 am

        WARS!!! We need more WARS!!!

    3. Eugene_2012
      August 31, 2013 1:22 am at 1:22 am

      Word on the street is Fox Business News will soon be sold to the Cartoon Network.

    4. Snickersz
      August 30, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm

      The question I have is: How do these ratings compare with ratings in previous summers?

      • oldnymark
        August 31, 2013 7:50 am at 7:50 am

        According to Nielsen data covering July, in CNBC’s
        prime 25-54 demographic, viewership was down to a fresh 20 year low
        of just 37,000, the lowest since March of 1993. If you look at year/year summer comps you see Fast Money down 32%, Mad Money down 42% and Kudlow down 52%. These shows had their lowest ratings ever for the all viewers category this August.

        • Snickersz
          August 31, 2013 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm

          Thanks for the info. I particularly like Kudlow’s program for his wrap up of the day’s business news as well as the political currents that affect everything.

    5. Earl Alexander Birkett
      August 30, 2013 8:37 pm at 8:37 pm

      Financial news is much like tv news as a whole, shallow and built around the commercials and stock hustlers. And we are in a Fed-driven bubble market, not a bull market. Enjoy it while it lasts, because it never does.

    6. Matt
      August 30, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am

      Ratings were very high during the financial crisis and that was bullish. Now the ratings are very low and that’s bullish, too? Seems like you can spin this as bullish all the time.

      • Ryan Detrick, CMT
        August 30, 2013 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm

        Hi Matt,
        Ratings were definitely high near the lows, you are right. From our point of view that makes sense. A major market crash will get people interested.

        Bigger picture, the lack of most investors noticing the current bull market is what we find bullish. The CNBC ratings are just another example of that.

        Thanks for the comments.

    7. Patrick Sheehan
      August 29, 2013 6:22 pm at 6:22 pm

      I wouldn’t read that much into it…the shows and aside from interviews, all of cnbc are nearly unwatchable. 4 cnbc commentators shouting above each other isn’t serious financial news. Having so and so from the CBT telling us about technicals is not worth watching…..I could go on, but you get my drift. I often watch with the sound off…unless I see an interesting interview taking place. And even then….the host is likely to monopolize the interview…..I always end up disappointed.

      • oldnymark
        August 29, 2013 6:53 pm at 6:53 pm

        I agree. Joe Kernan is just a right-wing ignoramus who belongs on Fox & Friends to spout his nonsense not on a business channel. Ranting Santelli needs to go on medication and then spend a decade or two in deep contemplation about why everything he’s predicted for the last 4 years has turned out to be wrong. Cramer runs a clown show that is simply dangerous. Becky “Oh Warren, let me stroke you some more” Quick is anything but. Yes, completely unwatchable.

        • 1952rmdg
          August 30, 2013 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm

          You forgot Andrew Ross Sorkin, the defender of the 1%’s nepotism, who is one their beneficiaries.

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