The wild rides of the campaign for president and the economic turmoil boosted Fox News Channel's prime-time block to fourth among all cable channels for the third quarter, extending its streak as the highest-rated cable news network to 27 consecutive quarters. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FNC averaged 2.2 million total viewers in the 8-11 p.m. daypart for the just-concluded quarter.
CNN ranked ninth among all cable channels for the quarter with an average 1.3 million viewers, its biggest quarter since the Iraq war began in early 2003. MSNBC was 23rd with 867,000 total viewers and also posted the biggest year-to-year quarterly growth spurts: 81% in prime time and 48% for total-day.
For total-day, Fox averaged 1.1 million viewers to rank sixth among all cable channels, while CNN ranked 11th with an average 713,000 viewers. MSNBC averaged 472,000 viewers and ranked 27th.
For CNBC, its 5 a.m.-7 p.m. business-day average of 318,000 total viewers was up 26% year-to-year and ended as its third best quarter ever.