Tuesday, July 16, 2013

CableTV News: Saturday Ratings Surge

George Zimmerman
Despite breaking late on a weekend evening, the verdict in the murder trial of George Zimmerman attracted an audience of more than 10 million viewers to cable news networks, a huge total for a Saturday night.

According to Bill Carter at the NYTimes, preliminary ratings showed that for the hour from 10 to 11 p.m., just after the verdict came in, Fox News and CNN each attracted well over three million viewers, while MSNBC trailed badly with only about 1.3 million.

Fox had the highest number, 3.68 million viewers, just ahead of CNN with 3.4 million. But CNN outpaced Fox News among the viewers that television advertisers pay most to reach, those between the ages of 25 and 54. In that category, CNN had 1.72 million viewers to 1.11 million for Fox News. MSNBC had only 510,000.

MSNBC actually finished in fourth place over all, also coming in behind CNN’s sister network HLN, which is known for covering criminal trials. HLN had 2.2 million total viewers for third in that category and 980,000 in the 25-54 group, which also placed it third.

The viewership total of 10 million represented a major increase from the Saturday night audience a week earlier, when only about 1.6 million viewers watched the same four cable news channels.

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