Market Churns, CNBC Soars

Here’s one beneficiary of market turmoil: CNBC. Challenged by upstart Fox Business Network, CNBC turned in its best November in 7 years in the Nielsen ratings. The network was up 42% in total viewers during Business Day (5 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET), averaging 286,000, compared to 201k in the same month last year.

Jim Cramer’s Mad Money grew 37% from last November, to 243,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.

The numbers are still puny compared to network TV, but that’s always been the case for CNBC, which makes its money by attracting a small but valuable audience. But they do prove the axiom that market volatility is good for CNBC. Unless it gets too volatile — that’s when viewers and the advertisers sprint for the exits.

Meanwhile CNBC appears to be withstanding Fox Business, which has ratcheted up the visual appeal (along with some earnings-season gaffes.) FBN is not yet Nielsen-rated. Nor is Bloomberg TV, which is flooding the NYC market with local promos.

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