Cable News Ratings Rise as Stock Market Falls

CNN, CNBC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC see ratings soar Monday after bailout bill fails to pass.
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Cable news networks got a big boost from the stock market's big fall.

According to Nielsen numbers, the combined audience for CNN, CNBC, Fox News Channel and MSNBC from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Monday -- when the House failed to pass a bailout bill and stocks began to plummet -- was up 71% from the average for the same hour on the other 28 days of September.

From 3 p.m.-4 p.m., as the market made its way toward a historic fall, viewership was up a combined 103%, according to Nielsen.

Viewership spiked at more than 7 million from 5 p.m.-6 p.m., up 84% from the average for the rest of the month.

The bill also dominated the Web, with 2% of all blog posts containing the term "bailout," according to Nielsen, which also pointed out that traffic to online-brokerage sites was up 30% Sept. 15-21, the week that AIG and Lehman Bros. tanked.