Thursday, September 02, 2004

That'll get their knickers in a twist!

Fox News Overtakes Broadcast Rivals:
Speeches by Laura Bush and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Republican convention helped propel Fox News Channel to a first-ever ratings victory over the broadcast networks Tuesday night, another example of viewers' ongoing migration to cable TV for their political news.

From 7 to 8 p.m. Pacific time, when the first lady and Schwarzenegger addressed the crowd in New York, Fox drew an average of 5.2 million viewers, compared with 5.1 million for NBC, 4.4 million for CBS and 4.3 million for ABC, according to figures from Nielsen Media Research. It marked the first time that a cable news network had beaten all three broadcasters in head-to-head, prime-time coverage of a political convention.
Although broadcast networks have been criticized for cutting back on convention coverage, Fox didn't steal its audience from them.
Fox, whose ratings were far higher than they were for the Democratic convention in Boston, stole viewers this time from CNN and MSNBC. CNN lost the most Tuesday, falling to third among the cable networks, with an average of 1.5 million viewers from 7 to 8 p.m. MSNBC was second with 1.6 million.

The results appear to back up a June survey from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which found that cable news viewing was breaking along party lines, with Fox's audience increasingly described as politically conservative and CNN's more Democratic-leaning.
Paging Medea Benjamin!