Fox News Nails November Sweeps Ratings Win

Dec 3, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Fox News Channel’s firm grip on the cable news crown continued in the November sweeps, which was chock full of economic, political and terrorism news that boosted ratings across the board.
Ten of the top 15 cable-news programs for the month were on FNC.
CNN edged out Fox News in the key news demographic of 25- to 54-year-old viewers for total day, the first time it has done that since 2001, and scored its biggest prime-time audience in a decade.
But MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow continued to beat CNN’s Larry King in total viewers and the demo, reminiscent of Billie Jean King’s defeat of Bobby Riggs in the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match.
Less than 3 months old, “The Rachel Maddow Show” outscored “Larry King Live” for the second month in a row to claim second in the time slot with an average 1.83 million viewers, 672,00 in the 25-54 news demo. Mr. King drew 1.71 million total viewers and 565,000 in the demo.
Ms. Maddow’s MSNBC lead-in, “Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” also beat its CNN counterpart with an average of 2.11 million total viewers, 780,000 in the demo, while Campbell Brown’s “No Bias. No Bull” averaged 1.32 million total viewers and 472,000 viewers in the demo.
Fox News Channel finished the ratings book with its 83rd consecutive month as the most-watched cable news channel. It was the third most-watched basic cable channel in prime time and the fourth most-watched for total-day. CNN ranked sixth in total viewers in prime time and ninth for total-day. MSNBC ranked eighth and 17th in prime time and total-day, respectively.
According to data from Nielsen Media Research for the sweeps, which concluded Nov. 30 for the news channels, Fox News Channel averaged 2.57 million total viewers in prime time and 1.27 million for total-day, increases of 82% and 61%, respectively, compared to November 2007. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News Channel averaged 674,000 viewers in prime time and 355,000 for total-day, respectively. Those numbers represent year-to-year increases of 106% and 60%, respectively.
CNN averaged 1.71 million total viewers in prime time and 960,000 for total-day, year-to-year increases of 125% and 116%, respectively. In the news demo, CNN averaged 658,000 viewers in prime time and 368,000 for total-day, up 185% and 144% year to year.
MSNBC averaged 1.5 million total viewers in prime time and 701,000 for total day, increases of 162% and 133%, respectively. In the news demo, MSNBC averaged 597,000 viewers in prime time and 99,000 for total-day, up 161% and 130%, year-to-year.
Meanwhile, CNBC’s Business Day block of 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays enjoyed its biggest November sweeps audience ever, averaging 390,000 total viewers (up 36% from November 2007) and 111,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo (up 42%, the best in five years). That data, of course, is from Nielsen homes only and doesn’t count the out-of-home audience in business offices and other venues.
(Editor: Baumann)
(2:50 p.m.: Added last paragraph)

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