Dows Bear Is Bullish for Cable Nets


Wall Street's roller coaster last week took cable-news
networks to lofty highs in terms of ratings.

While investors were calculating their losses from last
Monday's market dive, CNBC was hitting its all-time viewership record. Its ratings
peaked between 4 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. -- during Market Wrap -- at a 1.5, reaching
slightly more than 1 million households, according to Nielsen Media Research data supplied
by CNBC.

For the business day of Aug. 31, from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.,
CNBC racked up a 0.7 rating, officials said. That was another record, prompted by viewers
flocking to CNBC as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by more than 500 points.

Cable News Network also got a lift. CNN reached a 0.9
rating last Monday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., after the market closed, marking a 50 percent
ratings increase over the year to date during that time slot.

The all-news network also pre-empted its regular
programming at 10 p.m. to air a special edition of Moneyline News Hour with Lou Dobbs,
which earned a 1.2 rating that night -- a 50 percent increase from CNN's year-to-date
average in that time period, making it the sixth-highest-rated business program on basic
cable this year.

CNN's regularly scheduled Moneyline last Monday
at 6:30 p.m. averaged a 0.7 rating, a 40 increase from the show's average 0.5 so far
this year, officials said.

Overall, CNN's special market coverage of the plunge
Aug. 31 averaged a 0.9 rating, tripling the network's ratings and households delivery
for its typical daily business programming, network officials said.

Fox News Channel also got a rise out of the market
correction. At 5 p.m. last Monday, shortly after the market's close, Neal
Cavuto's coverage of the fall drew a 0.3 rating, or 88,000 homes -- triple his usual
ratings of a 0.1. At 11 p.m. that night, Cavuto also did a special report on the opening
of the Asian markets, which earned a 0.5 rating -- five times what the network typically
does at that time period, a FNC spokeswoman said.

Last Tuesday, when the market gained back nearly 300
points, Cavuto's afternoon show did a 0.3 rating, triple its usual rating.