As the United States went to war last week, the cable news networks surged to the
front of cable Nielsen Media Research ratings.
Fox News Channel averaged a blistering 5.0 rating with 5.7 million viewers in prime time
for the week of March 17 through 23, making it the highest-rated cable network.
Cable News Network tallied a 3.7 average rating with 4.4 million viewers, putting it in
MSNBC grabbed a 1.1 rating with 2.1 million viewers, trailing only
Nickelodeon (2.1 rating) and Disney Channel (2.0 rating), according to
Nielsen data from ABC Cable Networks.
Fox News and CNN posted their best ratings March 19 when the war broke out. At
its peak that night, Fox News soared to a 7.3 rating and CNN a 6.3.
The cable news channels continued to post big ratings Monday.
Fox News averaged a 4.7 rating with 5.2 million viewers in prime time.
CNN followed with a 4.0 and 4.8 million viewers, and MSNBC recorded a 2.4
rating and 2.4 million viewers.