MSNBC Trails Badly in Saturday’s Cable News Coverage of Syria

Fox News, CNN in competitive finish and gain sharply, but the Peacock cabler loses audience

Fox News and CNN drew sizable audiences on Saturday afternoon for their coverage of the events in Syria, leaving MSNBC in their dust.

Nielsen estimates that Fox News Channel was the most-watched news network during the special breaking news coverage on Syria from noon to 5 p.m. ET, averaging 971,000 viewers — slightly ahead of CNN’s 926,000. This period covered the hours leading up to President Obama’s address and the hours following it.

While both FNC and CNN saw significant week-over-week gains, third-place MSNBC actually was down about 20% week to week, averaging 390,000 viewers for its Syria coverage.

In the key news demo of adults 25-54, CNN (242,000) edged FNC (235,000), with MSNBC drawing 124,000.

On a total-day basis, which includes hours before and after the breaking news coverage, Fox News led with 772,000 total viewers and 183,000 adults 25-54. CNN ran second in total viewers (470,000 to 364,000 for MSNBC), but MSNBC narrowly led CNN in adults 25-54 (154,000 to 151,000) — thanks to numerous airings of its “Lockup” prison docu-series.

 

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