Cable News Network won the third-quarter all-news ratings race, driven by a
strong performance in September.
CNN -- which had either trailed or tied Fox News Channel in the months
leading up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- easily won September, averaging
a 2.0 Nielsen Media Research rating in primetime and a 1.3 total day rating,
topping FNC (1.5 rating in primetime, 0.9 total-day rating) and MSNBC (1.1
primetime, 0.7 total-day).
Its September, performance helped CNN to win the third quarter by a narrow
margin, averaging a 1.2 primetime rating and a 0.7 total-day rating, edging out
FNC, which averaged a 1.1 rating in primetime and a 0.6 rating in the total-day
MSNBC placed third with a 0.7 rating in primetime and a 0.5 total-day rating,
followed by CNBC (0.5 primetime, 0.3 total-day) and CNN Headline News (0.3
rating in both categories).
FNC -- which saw its ratings jump 120 percent in primetime from the same
period last year -- noted that it posted the largest year-to-year increases for
the 14th consecutive quarter in total-day and the sixth consecutive
quarter in primetime.
CNBC said it posted its highest ever total-day rating Sept. 17, generating a
0.7 on the first day the U.S. financial markets opened for trading after the
attacks. Its Squawk Box morning show pulled a record 1.4 rating that
FNC noted that its Your World with Neil Cavuto business show was the
top-rated business-news program for the quarter, averaging a 0.5 rating,
compared with a 0.4 for Lou Dobbs Moneyline and a 0.3 average for CNBC's
MSNBC, which had its best quarter yet, pointed out that it tied CNN in the
adults 25-through-54 demographic with a 0.3 rating in the total-day category and
that it beat FNC, which posted a 0.2 rating in the demo.