You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox tops news from Baghdad

Cabler leads CNN in ratings

CNN may have owned the first Persian Gulf War, but this go-round, Fox News Channel was the No. 1-rated cable network during the first days of the conflict.

Primetime ranking marks another rite-of-passage for Fox News, signaling that even on the biggest stories, the network can outshine its all-news rivals.

On the broadcast side, NBC News remained the network of choice, in both primetime and during the evening news.

According to Nielsen Media Research, Fox News averaged 5.58- million primetime viewers last week, with CNN attracting 4.37 million and MSNBC 2.15 million.

There is little doubt that TV news operations have plenty riding on the Iraqi war — especially CNN, which made its name providing exclusive coverage of the bombing of Baghdad by U.S. forces in 1991.

Overall, each of the 24-hour cable news networks saw a dramatic gain in viewers last week, commencing on Wednesday night with word the U.S. and its allies had launched the Iraq invasion. Fox was up 379% vs. the same week last year while CNN soared by 393% and MSNBC skyrocketed by 651%.

Fox, which declined comment on its ratings win, has beaten CNN for much of the past year.

CNN tried to deflect any worry over the ratings, pointing out it still ranked No. 1 in total reach, with 90.3 million viewers tuning in during the first five days of the war, according to cume ratings compiled by Nielsen. A total of 67 million viewers tuned into Fox during the same time period.

“The number of people in this country who check in with CNN reflects the net’s newsgathering strength and our editorial integrity,” CNN spokesman Matt Furman said.

In January, CNN chief news exec Eason Jordan told the Television News Critics that “we’re very much committed to trying to own the story like we did in ’91.”

More TV

  • 'The Bachelor' Recap: Arie Luyendyk Jr.

    'The Bachelor' Recap: Arie Luyendyk Jr. Faces 'The Bekah-ning'

    CNN may have owned the first Persian Gulf War, but this go-round, Fox News Channel was the No. 1-rated cable network during the first days of the conflict. Primetime ranking marks another rite-of-passage for Fox News, signaling that even on the biggest stories, the network can outshine its all-news rivals. On the broadcast side, NBC […]

  • CBS Orders Pilots From Gloria Calderon

    CBS Orders Pilots From Gloria Calderon Kellett, Amanda Green, Michelle Nader

    CNN may have owned the first Persian Gulf War, but this go-round, Fox News Channel was the No. 1-rated cable network during the first days of the conflict. Primetime ranking marks another rite-of-passage for Fox News, signaling that even on the biggest stories, the network can outshine its all-news rivals. On the broadcast side, NBC […]

  • NBC Orders FBI Drama 'The Enemy

    NBC Orders FBI Drama 'The Enemy Within' From 'Mentalist' Writer to Pilot

    CNN may have owned the first Persian Gulf War, but this go-round, Fox News Channel was the No. 1-rated cable network during the first days of the conflict. Primetime ranking marks another rite-of-passage for Fox News, signaling that even on the biggest stories, the network can outshine its all-news rivals. On the broadcast side, NBC […]

  • Timeless

    TV News Roundup: 'Timeless' Sets Season 2 Premiere Date on NBC

    CNN may have owned the first Persian Gulf War, but this go-round, Fox News Channel was the No. 1-rated cable network during the first days of the conflict. Primetime ranking marks another rite-of-passage for Fox News, signaling that even on the biggest stories, the network can outshine its all-news rivals. On the broadcast side, NBC […]

  • "The Matrimonial Metric" -- Pictured: Sheldon

    Delayed Viewing Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' Winter Premiere Starts 2018 Strong

    CNN may have owned the first Persian Gulf War, but this go-round, Fox News Channel was the No. 1-rated cable network during the first days of the conflict. Primetime ranking marks another rite-of-passage for Fox News, signaling that even on the biggest stories, the network can outshine its all-news rivals. On the broadcast side, NBC […]

  • Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage Bring

    PepsiCo's Super Bowl Commercial for Doritos, Mountain Dew is Two Ads in One

    CNN may have owned the first Persian Gulf War, but this go-round, Fox News Channel was the No. 1-rated cable network during the first days of the conflict. Primetime ranking marks another rite-of-passage for Fox News, signaling that even on the biggest stories, the network can outshine its all-news rivals. On the broadcast side, NBC […]

  • What We Do in the Shadows

    'What We Do in The Shadows' Series Lands at FX With Pilot Production Commitment

    CNN may have owned the first Persian Gulf War, but this go-round, Fox News Channel was the No. 1-rated cable network during the first days of the conflict. Primetime ranking marks another rite-of-passage for Fox News, signaling that even on the biggest stories, the network can outshine its all-news rivals. On the broadcast side, NBC […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content