03/14/2011 05:55 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Cable News Ratings On First Day Of Japan Quake Show Varying Patterns

The cable news ratings from the first day of the earthquake in Japan on Friday showed that viewers were sending a variety of different signals about their watching habits.

CNN won the overall ratings game--barely. 2.645 million people watched the network's coverage of the crisis in Japan. Fox News was close behind, with 2.273 million viewers. MSNBC lagged far behind, with just 630,000 viewers tuning in during the course of the day.

However, while CNN won the total day viewership, Fox News won the primetime battle--though, again, just barely. The channel drew 2.719 million viewers, as opposed to CNN's 2.645 million. (CNN's ratings surge did lead to some surprising results, such as Piers Morgan edging out Sean Hannity in the total viewer ratings.)

And, to make matters more complicated, CNN won by a large margin in the coveted A25-54 margin: 1.1 million to Fox News' 724,000.