Yesterday, The Huffington Post ran a glowing item touting a “ratings rebound” for ratings-challenged CNN during last week’s news cycle—Oil spill, Times Square Bomber, Greece imploding, floods, etc.—stating that the network “scored major ratings victories over Fox News and MSNBC.”CNN posted and sustained surprisingly strong demo numbers across several timeslots last week. For the week, it was up 51% over its April 2010 A25-54 viewer average, while Fox News was up 11% and MSNBC down 5%. In primetime and daytime, CNN was up by huge percentages (35% and 57%, respectively) while both Fox News and MSNBC were down, relative to their April averages…
…On Wednesday, for instance, CNN beat Fox News in the demo from 11AM-4PM; on Tuesday, CNN beat Fox at 9AM (“CNN Newsroom” with Kyra Phillips vs. “America’s Newsroom” with Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum), 2PM (“CNN Newsroom” with Ali Velshi vs. “American Live” with Megyn Kelly), and 3PM (“Rick’s List” with Rick Sanchez vs. “Studio B” with Shep Smith).
The stats are accurate, but TV By The Numbers did a little debunking of what it paints as a misleading item by HuffPo:
While CNN, as usual, increased its ratings during the big news week, its week’s position in total day (#2 to Fox News) and prime time (#3 to Fox News and MSNBC, and not far ahead of HLN) were where they’ve been for several months.
As I’ve pointed out many times, not too long ago during big news weeks, CNN would move to the top of the cable news rankings. Last week they didn’t even move up to second in primetime.
Here’s a bit more from Nielsen’s Basic Cable Network Rankings for last week, which are posted below.
In total primetime viewers, CNN ranked No. 29, behind both MSNBC (27) and Fox News Channel (4). In total daily viewers, CNN ranked No. 22, ahead of MSNBC (29) but still well behind Fox News Channel (6).
Check out TV By the Numbers for the networks’ weekday averages.
UPDATE: A CNN spokesperson emailed us with the following statement:
The CNN numbers in the Huff Post piece are accurate. The facts are that CNN topped FNC several hours during the day last week as well as MSNBC in prime and that CNN grew more than it’s cable competitors last week vs the prior month. Period.
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