News Pushes CNN to the Top of the Cable News Ratings

March 17, 2014  •  Post A Comment

When news happens, people are still turning to CNN. The venerable cable news channel has seen its ratings surge as it provides almost nonstop coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, TVNewser reports.

CNN has beaten its rivals in the key news demographic of viewers 25-54 in recent days, even though Fox News Channel has remained the most watched cable news network in terms of total viewers, Variety reports.

CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” beat Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” in the 25-54 demographic for two nights, the piece notes.

"On Thursday, Cooper attracted an average of 454,000 viewers in the demo compared to O’Reilly’s 429,000, according to Nielsen," Variety reports. "On Wednesday, Cooper won an average of 431,000 viewers in the demo, Nielsen said, compared to O’Reilly’s 386,000."

“Erin Burnett Outfront,” for its part, drew more 25-54 viewers than Fox News’ Greta van Susteren, Variety said.

But the Variety piece notes: “The question will be whether CNN’s results are being boosted for the short term by breaking-news coverage of the recent disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, or if CNN’s recent focus on prime-time documentaries is gaining traction.”

Here are the hour-by-hour numbers for Thursday prime time (March 13, 2014), from TVNewser:

News demo (adults 25-54):

7 p.m. hour:

CNN: 366,000
FNC: 290,000
MSNBC: 143,000

8 p.m. hour:

CNN: 454,000
FNC: 429,000
MSNBC: 139,000

9 p.m. hour:

CNN: 452,000
FNC: 421,000
MSNBC: 240,000

Total viewers:

7 p.m. hour:

FNC: 1.635M
CNN: 910,000
MSNBC: 714,000

8 p.m. hour:

FNC: 2.692M
CNN: 1.121M
MSNBC: 611,000

9 p.m. hour:

FNC: 2.583M
CNN: 1.162M
MSNBC: 873,000

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