With the news channels' terrorist-laden ascent, cable's primetime race was
very tight during October, as five networks were within 0.2 ratings points of
the top spot shared by Lifetime Television and Cable News Network.
Those channels both averaged a 1.8 during primetime from Oct. 1 through 28,
according to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research
CNN saw its ratings rise 100 percent from October 2000, while Lifetime --
which also leads the year-to-date measurement with a 2.0 -- scored a 13 percent
increase over its 1.6 average from Oct. 2 through 29, 2000.
There was a three-way tie for third place in primetime, with Turner Network
Television (up 21 percent), ESPN (down 6 percent) and Cartoon Network (off 11
percent), knotted at a 1.7.
TBS Superstation, a 16 percent decrease, and Fox News Channel, up 78 percent,
were next, each with a 1.6.
Rounding out the top 10: Nickelodeon, off 6 percent to a 1.5; USA Network, a
7 percent falloff to a 1.4; and A&E Network and MSNBC at a 1.1 apiece. The
latter networks declined 21 percent and expanded 175 percent, respectively, this
On a total-day basis, CNN (ahead 225 percent) equaled perennial leader Nick
(down 7 percent) with a 1.3.
Lifetime (up 10 percent) and Cartoon (flat) were tied for third with a 1.1,
while TBS (off 9 percent) and Fox News Channel (a 150 percent gain) were next at
Reflecting a return to somewhat more normal viewing patterns, seven
entertainment networks surpassed CNN and FNC in primetime from Oct. 22 through
According to a Turner analysis of Nielsen data, TNT was tops during the last
full week of October with a 1.9, besting fellow Turner networks TBS Superstation
and Cartoon at a 1.7.
Lifetime was fourth with a 1.6, while Nick, USA and ESPN all posted a
For their part, CNN and FNC both garnered a 1.3, while A&E Network
grabbed the 10th slot for the week with a 1.2.
Looking at key adult demos, TBS, TNT and ESPN enjoyed the most success during
October. TBS was first among adults 18 through 49 with 999,000 of those viewers,
55,000 more than TNT and 74,000 ahead of ESPN.
Among the 25-through-54 set, the race was much tighter: TNT was first with
998,000, ESPN second with 996,000 and TBS third with 976,000.
Lifetime and USA ranked fourth and fifth with both groups in October,
according to Nielsen.