Fox News Continues Its Strong Convention Ratings

Sep 2, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Fox News Channel’s hot streak continued through the third night of the Republican National Convention, when the news channel’s prime-time audience was bigger than those of CNN and MSNBC combined, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. And at 10 p.m., Fox News Channel beat the hour-long convention reports on ABC, CBS and NBC.

For the hours of 8-11 p.m., Fox averaged 4.271 million viewers, followed by CNN with an average 1.091 million viewers and MSNBC with 806,000 viewers.

But the race for second place in cable news took a dramatic turn at 10 p.m. with MSNBC’s audience nearly doubling in size as audiences tuned in for the highly anticipated speeches of former Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., and Vice President Dick Cheney. MSNBC’s 10-11 p.m. audience averaged 1.214 million viewers, up from 656,000 from 9-10 p.m., while CNN dropped slightly to 1.202 million after averaging 1.231 million from 9-10 p.m.).

From 10-11 p.m., Fox News Channel’s audience ballooned to nearly 5.92 million, more than any of the Big 3 broadcast networks’ convention specials. NBC News’ special averaged 4.50 million viewers, followed by ABC News’ 3.27 million and CBS News’ 2.60 million (coming off the Latin Grammys show, which closed out with 2.8 million viewers).

In the 11:15-11:30 p.m. quarter-hour that included a high-voltage exchange between “Hardball” host Chris Matthews and Zell Miller, MSNBC delivered 1.882 million viewers, more than double CNN’s 938,000 viewers. Fox News continued to reign supreme in that quarter-hour with 3.510 million.

Meanwhile, the prime-time PBS convention coverage in 42 of Nielsen’s 56 metered markets averaged a 1.8 household rating.