With the terrorist hijackings consuming the national consciousness, Cable
News Network and Fox News Channel topped the Nielsen charts last week in
primetime and total-day, while MSNBC was tied for third in both
CNN averaged a 3.6 rating in primetime from Sept. 10 through 16, while FNC
posted a 2.5 average, according to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of
Nielsen Media Research data.
MSNBC and Lifetime Television tied for third, averaging a 2.0 over the span.
Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, each with a 1.8, were tied for fifth.
CNN Headline News was tied for 10th with a 1.0, while CNBC was
tied for 17th with a 0.7.
Of the 55 shows listed by the Turner analysis, CNN aired all but three of
them: TNN: The National Network's presentation of two hours of World Wrestling
Federation Entertainment Inc. fare Sept. 10 and FNC's coverage -- 8:36 p.m. to 9
p.m. -- immediately following President Bush's address to the nation Sept.
Bush's speech from 8:32 p.m. to 8:38 p.m. was cable's top-rated programming,
garnering a 7.8.
The network's coverage that evening of explosions in Afghanistan from 5:58
p.m. to 6:32 p.m. -- which, at the time, were being considered a possible U.S.
retaliatory strike -- was tied for second with CNN's half-hour news segments at
7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Each averaged a 7.5.
CNN's coverage from 6:35 p.m. to 6:44 p.m. Sept. 11 was fifth with a 7.4.
CNN's dominance in primetime also extended into the total-day arena as the
Turner network averaged a 2.7 versus a 1.7 for FNC. MSNBC and perennial 24-hour
champion Nickelodeon were tied for third with a 1.3. Lifetime and Cartoon were
next with a 1.1 apiece.
Over the 24-hour measurement, Headline was knotted in eighth with a 0.7
average. For its part, CNBC secured a slice of the 12th spot with a
Viewership dropped off noticeably from Sept. 11. Of the 52 CNN segments
listed by Nielsen, 31 of the top-rated ones ran that day, including the top 13.
A total of 17 aired Wednesday, Sept. 12, while two unreeled Thursday, Sept. 13
(half-hour news coverage at 6 p.m. and Larry King Live from 9 p.m. to 10
p.m.), along with a pair of half-hour shows Saturday, Sept. 15 (He Said, She
Said at 10:30 a.m. and CNN Travel Now at 11 a.m.).