State of the Union Good for Fox News


Fox News Channel was the runaway cable news network of choice among most viewers watching President Bush’s State of the Union address Wednesday night.

Fox News averaged nearly 5.08 million viewers two-plus from 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Feb. 2, versus 1.02 million for Cable News Network and 716,000 for MSNBC, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

The performance represented a 14% viewership rise for Fox News over the 4.45 million who tuned in Bush’s 2004 State of the Union speech. CNN lost 48% of its watchers from the prior year (1.97 million), while MSNBC was off 1% from 721,000 from the 2004 address.

On the broadcast side, Fox led the way from 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. with 8.18 million viewers, according to fast national results from Nielsen. ABC narrowly beat NBC -- 6.97 million-6.95 million -- over the two-hour period, while CBS counted an average of 5.36 million viewers.