The untimely death of pop-music superstar Michael Jackson
spurred a viewership frenzy for several cable networks paying tribute to the
King of Pop last week.
BET's revamped June 28 BET Awards â€˜09 show -- paying tribute to
Jackson, who died June 25 after suffering cardiac arrest -- became the
most-watched show ever for the network and the most viewed show on cable in
2009, averaging 10.6 million viewers. The three-hour, 30-minute show, which
included performances from New Edition, Ne-Yo and host Jamie Foxx, as well as
an appearance by Jackson's sister Janet Jackson, easily topped BET's
previous high of 6.6 million for the 2006 BET Awards
telecast, according to Nielsen Media Research figures.
TV Guide Network's June 26 premiere of its one-hour biography
special Michael Jackson: Life and Times
delivered 0.4 rating for the network, which was up a whopping 133% versus the
same time period last year. The special also delivered more than a 100% gain
with persons ages 18 to 34, persons ages 18 to 49 and women ages 18 to 49,
according to the network.
TV One's June 26 reairing of the 2001 CBS concert special The MJ 30th Anniversary Concert posted a
0.51 household rating for the African-American targeted network, its
highest-rated night of the year, according to network officials.
On the cable-news front, CNN was the leader on the night
that both Jackson and actress Farrah Fawcett passed away. Averaging nearly 3.89
million viewers in primetime on June 25, CNN had 1.03 million viewers more than
Fox News Channel's 2.86 million average. MSNBC was a distant third with 1.47
million watchers, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
Among adults 25 to 54, CNN also set the primetime pace
with 1.79 million watchers, versus 1.19 for Fox News and 684,000 for MSNBC.