It was a sweep for Fox News Channel in the primetime ratings race, as the
all-news channel wore the household crown last week, during March and for the
entire first quarter.
With more eyes turning to Baghdad, Fox News' strength in March helped it to
grab a share of the first-quarter (Dec. 30, 2002, through March 30) diadem,
tying Turner Network Television at a 2.0 for the month, according to an ABC
Cable Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.
Lifted by its coverage of the war in Iraq, For News averaged a 2.9 household
rating during March (Feb. 24 through March 30), boosted by a 4.0 in the final
week (March 24 through 30).
For the quarter, Nickelodeon was third with a 1.8, followed by a 1.7 for
Lifetime Television. There was a three-way tie for fifth among Disney Channel,
TBS Superstation and USA Network, all with a 1.6.
Cartoon Network and Cable News Network were both at a 1.4. There was a
four-way logjam in 10th as A&E Network, ESPN, Sci Fi Channel and
The Learning Channel all closed the span with a 1.0 average.
In March, CNN registered a 2.1 to finish second to rival Fox News. TNT and
Nick were third with a 1.9 apiece, while Disney and TBS were tied for fifth with
Rounding out the top 10 in March: Lifetime with a 1.6; USA and Cartoon, each
with a 1.5; and Sci Fi and TLC, both at a 1.1.
MSNBC, also benefiting from interest in the war, was tied for 12th
with A&E in March, each with a 1.0, according to the ABC Cable analysis.
Last week, Fox News also held a 0.8-point edge over CNN, which averaged a 3.2
household mark in primetime. TBS was third with a 2.1, followed by a 1.9 for
TNT and Nick were knotted in fifth with a 1.8, ahead of the trio of Lifetime,
USA and Cartoon, all with a 1.7 average. Disney Channel was 10th with