CNNI Tops EMS European Audience Ranks for News
Annual survey of affluent pan-European audiences ranks CNNI as number one news channel for monthly and weekly reach
By George Winslow -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/21/2012 3:01:00 AM
The survey covers affluent pan-European audiences, a group that includes about 49 million adults aged 21 and over in 21 markets for all of 2011. Because almost all of the traditional ratings services for Europe are limited to national markets and there is little pan-European data, the annual EMS survey is a widely used by multichannel programmers as an important measure of audience reach for advertisers.
According to the new data released Monday, the network achieved a notable 18.8% bounce in monthly reach -- its best performance since EMS launched in 1995 -- and a 20.5% increase in weekly reach, giving it the top spot for both monthly and weekly reach.
Overall, CNN was also the number one multiplatform news provider, with 47% monthly combined reach across TV, mobile, and online.
The growing international audiences for CNNI come at a time when the domestic CNN service has struggled in the ratings and highlight the strength of its international coverage. This April CNN was awarded three Peabody Awards, a record for the news organization. It was also the first time that all of the winning programs and coverage aired on CNNI.
The three awards included one for CNN's reporting of the Arab Spring; a second for CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute; and a final Peabody for Restoring the American Dream: Fixing Education, a Fareed Zakaria special and Fareed Zakaria GPS: Interpretation and Commentary on Iran.
Tony Maddox, executive VP and managing director of CNN International and of newsgathering at the company, noted that the international investments they had made in recent years in bureaus and programming contributed to both the European audience growth and the recent awards.
"We've had many strong years before in this survey but we've never had a year like this," Maddox noted in an interview. "Statistically this is the best performance we've ever had in terms of the rate of growth."
Maddox also stressed that their investments in programming and bureaus "put us in a position to drive audiences" when the big international stories broke last year, including the Japanese tsunami and the Arab Spring uprisings.
"Having more people on the ground allowed us to provide the kind of coverage based on experience and authenticity that audiences look for," he said.
He also noted that in addition to their experienced correspondents, having more local language speakers in the Middle East was crucial to Peabody-award winning coverage they provided of the Arab Spring. In addition to having people on the ground, that allowed them "to track the story through Arab media and social media," he argued.
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