Fox News Tops Cable's Papal Ratings

CNN, HLN both Rank Ahead of MSNBC for Francis I Announcement

Fox News was the most-watched cable news network for Wednesday's coverage of the announcement of a new pope, according to Nielsen data.

FNC averaged 2.22 million total viewers from 2p.m.-4 p.m. (ET) ahead of second-place CNN, which drew 1.5 million viewers. HLN, which split coverage of the papal announcement with that of the Jodi Arias trial, ranked third with 913,000 total viewers, while MSNBC was fourth with 596,000 viewers.

In the key adults 25-to-54 demo, the rankings were the same over that span, with Fox News drawing 443,000 of those viewers, while CNN, HLN and MSNBC garnered 419,000, 316,000 and 142,000 of those watchers, respectively. In the 3 p.m. hour, when Pope Francis I was introduced to the crowd in Vatican City, CNN moved ahead of Fox News with 513,000 adults 25 to 54 compared to 495,000 of those viewers.