The latest ESM 2012 audience research shows that CNN saw
significant increases in viewing during 2011 among the affluent pan-European
audiences measured by the survey for both for its linear TV services, which was
ranked as the most-viewed news channels, and as a multiplatform new provider,
where it was also the top news brand for 2011.
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 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.