Fox News Still Tops the Heap

Jul 7, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Don’t tell Fox News Channel there ain’t no cure for the summertime ratings blues.
Viewing levels may have cooled down from Iraq war peaks, but Fox ended June pretty much the way it spent the second quarter: attracting a bigger share of the prime-time cable-news audience than its three all-news competitors-CNN, MSNBC and CNN Headline News-combined.
The Nielsen Media Re search data released last week showed that Fox corralled 51 percent of all prime-time cable news viewers in June, slightly more than the combined shares of CNN (27 percent), MSNBC (9 percent) and Headline News (7 percent).
Fox Also Tops for Q2
For the second quarter, which started with interest in developments in Iraq buoying cable news in general, Fox commanded 49 percent of the prime-time all-news audience, again, slightly more than the combined shares of CNN (29 percent), MSNBC (13 percent) and Headline (5 percent). (As news programming returned to normal, CNBC saw its prime-time share rise from 4 percent for the second quarter to 6 percent for the month of June.)
Fox, the only news network that didn’t shuffle its prime-time programming during the war, was the only network whose prime-time viewership in June (an average 1.418 million viewers) went up (18 percent) year to year.
CNN finished the month with an average 763,000 viewers in prime time. That’s the pioneering news network’s second-best June prime-time performance since 1995, but it was down 12 percent from June 2002, which was the best June since 1995.
MSNBC ended June with an average 257,000 viewers, off 22 percent year to year.
King of the Hill
For the record, the second quarter of 2003 was Fox’s sixth straight quarter as king of the news network hill.
CNN finished the second quarter with an average of 790,000 viewers for total day (up 58 percent vs. the second quarter in 2002) and 1.242 million in prime time (up 40 percent).
MSNBC’s second quarter 2003 averages of 399,000 viewers for total day and 541,000 in prime time were up 61 percent and 62 percent, respectively.