News Nets Ring Up Big November Ratings Gains


A busy month with the election and attendant presidential transition, the stumbling economy and the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the cable news networks rang up significant Nielsen increases from November 2007.

From Oct. 27 through Nov. 30, Fox News Channel finished tied for second with USA Network with a 2.1 household average in primetime, 0.3 points behind ESPN’s 2.4, according to Nielsen Media Research data. The cable news leader saw its household rating average grow 75% from a 1.2 in November 2007 (Oct. 24 through Nov. 25, 2007 on the Nielsen calendar) and viewership surge 83% to 2.57 million from 1.41 million.

CNN was eighth in November, rising 86% to a 1.3 household rating average from a 0.7, with its audience up 124% to 1.71 million from 764,000 last year.

For its part, MSNBC was tenth as its household ratings average leaped 140% to a 1.2 from a 0.5 and viewership climbed 162% to 1.5 million from 573,000.

On a total-day basis, Fox News recorded a 57% gain to a 1.1 from a 0.7, as viewers rose 60% to 1.27 million from 794,000. The growth rates were even stronger for its competitors: MSNBC was up 100% to a 0.6 and 132% to 703,000 from 303,000, respectivley while CNN moved ahead 100% to a 0.8 and 115% in viewers to 961,000 from 447,000.

Naturally, the networks benefited greatly from their historic Nov. 4 coverage, as Barack Obama became the first African-American to be elected president. All told, the news network’s combined to record 23 of the month’s top 44 programs with their various segments on Election Day, with CNN’s nearly 15.3 million viewers from 11 p.m. to midnight setting the pace in November.

In addition to ruling the cable roost on Election Night, CNN also unseated Fox News as the leader among adults 25 to 54 in total day in November, for the first time since 2001. CNN averaged 370,000 of the news demo, compared with Fox News Channel’s 356,000 and MSNBC’s 291,000.

CNN executives also trumpeted results showing that The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer won all three of its hours -- 4 p.m., 5. p.m. and 6 p.m. – with the news demo.

MSNBC executives hailed The Rachel Maddow Show’s win against CNN’s Larry King Live among total viewers in November and the program's second consecutive win versus the venerable host in the 9 p.m. hour among adults 25 to 54.

Hardball with Chris Matthews also outperformed CNN for the second consecutive month at 7 p.m. with the news demo, according to the network

Of course, Fox News officials trotted out such Nielsen perennials as Hannity & Colmes winning their slot for 60 months, The O’Reilly Factor taking its hour for 96 months running and Your World with Neil Cavuto extending its first-place skein among viewers to 82 months.