President Barack Obama’s Saturday announcement that he would seek congressional authorization for a strike on Syria gave two of the three major cable news channels a big ratings bump.
CNN earned the early lead during the 1 p.m. ET hour in both total viewers and in the coveted 25-54 demo. CNN also eked out a win over Fox News for the 25-54 demo during the 12 p.m.-5 p.m. ET time slot, but Fox News won the overall rating contest.
Both Fox News and CNN interrupted their normally scheduled programing for live Syria coverage during the pivotal 1 p.m.-5 p.m. ET slot.
Meanwhile, left-leaning MSNBC saw a 19-percent dip in its numbers from the weekend before in which it went wall-to-wall with events related to the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” at the 1963 march on Washington.
Time Period Averages, Live+SD Crisis in Syria (8/31/13) vs. previous week (8/24/13) Total coverage was from 12-5p P 2+ P 25-54 Network Period Time Days (000s) % diff (000s) % diff FOXN 08/31/13-08/31/13 12:00P -05:00P _____S_ 971 - 235 - FOXN 08/24/13-08/24/13 12:00P -05:00P _____S_ 652 49% 102 130% CNN 08/31/13-08/31/13 12:00P -05:00P _____S_ 926 - 242 - CNN 08/24/13-08/24/13 12:00P -05:00P _____S_ 397 133% 115 110% MSNB 08/31/13-08/31/13 12:00P -05:00P _____S_ 390 - 124 - MSNB 08/24/13-08/24/13 12:00P -05:00P _____S_ 484 -19% 153 -19%
In overall total day, from 3 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday, Fox News won handily.
Time Period Averages, Live+SD Crisis in Syria (8/31/13) P 2+ P 25-54 Network Period Time Days (000s) (000s) FOXN 08/31/13-08/31/13 03:00A -03:00A _____S_ 772 183 CNN 08/31/13-08/31/13 03:00A -03:00A _____S_ 470 151 MSNB 08/31/13-08/31/13 03:00A -03:00A _____S_ 364 154