Fox News saw a staggering 7 million viewers as the final miner was rescued in Chile Wednesday night.
The network averaged 7.066 million total viewers in the 8PM hour (when the final miner was rescued) and 4.862 million total viewers in primetime, according to Nielsen Media Research. Those numbers represented the network's highest ratings of 2010 and its best performance since Election Night 2008.
It was a dominant performance over the cable news competition: during the 8PM hour, CNN averaged 2.671 million total viewers and MSNBC (which did not carry the final miner rescue) averaged 1.097 million total viewers. In primetime, CNN averaged 2.364 million total viewers for second place, while MSNBC averaged just 920,000 total viewers.
In the A25-54 demographic, Fox News was also dominant at night, averaging 1.754 million demo viewers during the 8PM hour compared to CNN's 800,000 and MSNBC's 298,000. In primetime, Fox News averaged 1.254 million demo viewers compared to CNN's 705,000 and MSNBC's 293,000.
There was one bright spot for CNN: the network took first place in the total day ratings among the A25-54 demographic, averaging 507,000 demo viewers to edge out Fox News' 497,000 and to easily beat MSNBC's 160,000.