Fox Claims Cable Crown Again With McCain Speech

Sep 5, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Fox News Channel closed out its coverage of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday with a second consecutive victory over all cable and broadcast competitors, according to national data from Nielsen Media Research.
The 9.2 million viewers who watched Sen. John McCain’s nomination acceptance speech Thursday ties with the speech Wednesday of his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as the most-watched convention telecasts in Fox and cable news history.
Nearly one-fourth of the 38.9 million viewers overall who saw the McCain speech from 10 to 11:15 p.m. watched it on Fox News.
Finishing second for the 75 minutes was NBC with 8.7 million viewers.
ABC (6 million viewers) and CBS (5.3 million) pushed CNN into fifth place with 4.8 million viewers. MSNBC averaged 2.5 million.
For the 8-11 p.m. prime-time block Thursday, Fox averaged 7.4 million viewers, making the entire night its most-watched prime-time convention telecast ever. It also was the third most-watched prime-time ever, behind only Election Night 2004 (8.2 million for the night) and the Bush-Kerry presidential debate on Sept. 30, 2004 (7.5 million)
Comparisons with the cable news networks’ average prime-time ratings for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday—Hurricane Gustav pretty much dampened activity at the GOP convention and overshadowed any coverage from St. Paul—show the cable networks saw a ratings payoff for their choice to apply so much of their resources to wall-to-wall politics.
Fox News averaged 6.3 million viewers across the three evenings, up 146% from the previous week’s Democratic convention in Denver and up 23% from its first-place showing on the GOP convention in 2004.
CNN averages 3.3 million viewers this week, down 27% from its first-place showing at Democratic gathering last week and up 212% from its GOP coverage in 2004.
MSNBC averaged 1.3 million viewers this week, down 29% from its showing in Denver and up 70% from the Republican convention 2004.
Among 25- to 54-year-old viewers who comprise the key news demo, Fox averaged slightly more than 3 million viewers, up 21% from Denver and up 21% from four years ago.
CNN averaged 2.1 million viewers in the demo in prime time this week, down 20% compared with Denver and up 282% from four years ago.
MSNBC averaged 1 million viewers in the demo, down 21% compared with Denver and up 84% compared to four years ago.


  1. I was appalled to hear Tonia Rymann’s criticism of John McCain needing to put his hands behind his back!! Obviously she doesn’t know too much about him ie; broken arms, shoulder and all the trama he endured in the war that took mobility away. Can’t raise his arms much less force them behind his back. Do your homework Tonia!

  2. I agree with Diane Ferry’s comment. I, too, am aware of John McCain’s disabilities affecting his (both arms) mobility which are the result of the bones broken during his torture. I think Tonia will do better homework in the future – she’s young, but still very good at what she does. I always enjoy her segments with Mr. O’Reilly.
    B.J. Lovelace of Coppell, TX

  3. MSNBC is so in the tank for Obama, it’s difficult to watch. Particularly Olberman, who does not have any opposing opinion on his program. O’Reilly certainly does, which makes for excellent fireworks. Olberman is tiresome and predictable.

  4. I used to watch news only on NBC for a long time – since discovering Bill O’Reilly a couple of years ago, I came to realise how biased the media can be – and this current election has really brought out the biasness in it all. I have really come to appreciate the reliability Fox has in reporting news and coverage of events appropriately (esp. Mr. O’Reilly), that now all I watch for news information is the Fox network. Nobody’s perfect, mind you, but I appreciate the team taking the “spin” out on what’s being reported.

  5. When MSNBC started, I wondered what the MS stood for. Evidently, Bill Gates and the loons at the NBC stations decided that an infusion of some of his billions or so and NBC could make a difference in news journalism. They certainly have. That poor drip who is on in the evening and I will not even mention his name is the ultimate in goofiness. This station is so offensive, that I have set up a block on my stations to eliminate it as well as CNN and the other abusers of the airwaves.

  6. I mean, I could see all this fuss over the guy if he’d led Jersey to the Finals

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