Cable networks often start from a low ratings base, but still, you seldom see a press release with these kind of percentages in it, courtesy of CNN.

For CNN, it’s more evidence that the channel still has a sizable footprint with viewers when it comes to breaking news, except that this kind of news doesn’t come along very often.

From CNN’s release:

Coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden (10:00p-3:00a) delivered 4.142 million total viewers and 2.101 million P25-54, up 981% and 1434% over the prior 4-Sunday performance, respectively. FNC followed with 2.845 total viewers and 1.267 in the demo and MSNBC trailed with 1.584 total viewers and 800k in the demo.

  • CNN was top-rated in both total viewers and P25-54, topping second-place FXNC by 46% among total viewers and 66% among P25-54.  CNN also out-performed third-place MSNBC by 161% among total viewers and by 163% among P25-54.
  • This is CNN’s best 10:00p-3:00a performance since Election Night 2008, when the network delivered 8.989 million total viewers and 4.598 million P25-54.

11 pm:  The hour President Obama announced bin Laden’s death:

CNN:               7.763 million total viewers/3.904 million demo 25-54

FNC:                4.778 million total viewers/2.070 million demo

MSNBC:          2.275 million total viewers/1.126 million demo 

  • CNN’s coverage peaked during the 11 pm hour averaging 7.763 million total viewers and 3.904 million P25-54.
  • By quarter-hour, CNN’s coverage peaked at 11:30pm (Pres. Obama Address) with 9.527 million total viewers and 4.768 million among adults 25-54.

The hour outperformed CNN’s 11 pm prior four Sunday’s average by +1080% among total viewers and +1627% among P25-54.