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.