Fox News Channel was a landslide winner among cable viewers with its presentation of the Sept. 30 debate between President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).
According to Nielsen Media Research data, Fox News averaged 9.56 million viewers from 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. for the debate, held in the Convocation Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.
Cable News Network attracted 4.36 million viewers, while MSNBC netted 1.19 million.
MSNBC’s broadcast brethren, NBC, set the pace among all TV outlets, garnering 17.2 million watchers. CBS was second with 13.5 million, ahead of ABC’s 11.5 million.
Fox scored 5.2 million to finish behind its cable cousin, which posted the second-most-watched program in its history with its debate coverage.
Fox News averaged 9.74 million watchers during the four-minute address Bush made in announcing the nation’s entry into the Iraq war March 19, 2003.