Thursday, January 10, 2008

Viewers Flock to Cable News Channels

With caucus and primary results as dramatic as anything else on prime time, viewers have been flocking to cable news. Just a week into the New Year, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC have all seen healthy bumps over their 2007 numbers.

Hillary Clinton and John McCain's triumphs in New Hampshire were not the only upsets on Tuesday night. CNN reeled in more than three million viewers that night, edging out Fox News, one of the most watched channels across all of cable. (It finished sixth for all of 2007.) Even with the halo of pre-election coverage, cable-news ratings pale when compared to those of the network news' broadcasts, which routinely draw seven to 10 million viewers an evening. Still, in the past week, CNN's nightly ratings have spiked 86% from its 2007 average; Fox has seen a 36% gain.

According to Nielsen Online, the interest extends to the Internet. For the week ending Jan. 6, 15% of CNN's traffic was directed toward; 24% of FoxNews's visitors sought out WSJ

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