Peterson Verdict Is Court TV Record


Court TV’s coverage of the decision against Scott Peterson last Friday afternoon delivered the largest audience in the network’s history.

The investigation network notched a 2.7 household rating and some 2.66 million total viewers from 4 p.m.-5 p.m. (EST), when the guilty verdicts came in against Peterson for murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn child.

The coverage also garnered a 2.2 for adults 18-49 for the period, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

Both of those marks trailed only Fox News Channel in the hour among all ad-supported cable networks, according to Court TV officials.

Fox News posted a 3.1 household average and some 3.35 million viewers during the hour in question, while Cable News Network registered a 1.5 rating and 1.73 million watchers and MSNBC recorded a 0.7 average and 605,000 viewers two-plus, according to Nielsen data.

The jury decision culminated a strong viewing period for Court TV with its Scott Peterson “Verdict Watch.” Starting Nov. 3 and running through Nov. 12, Court’s daytime news and trial coverage averaged a 0.8 household rating, tied for fifth among ad-supported cable channels, with some 730,000 total viewers.

These figures represented increases of 300% and 254%, respectively, compared with Court TV's fourth-quarter-2003 daytime news and trial averages, according to the network.

The sentencing phase of the Peterson trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 22.