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Boston Blasts: Friday Night Ratings; 46 Million Tune in During Crucial Hour

The frenetic end to the day-long search for Boston blast suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev came to a head just after 7pmET Friday as the three networks were in the midst of expanded evening newscasts. The capture would come 90 minutes later, and the network coverage would continue until 11pm on the broadcasters, longer on the cable nets. NBC won the night and each hour, peaking at 8pmET with 10.70 million viewers. Across the 5 English-language broadcast networks and three cable news channels 46 million tuned in for the 8pm hour. Fox News drew the most cable news viewers in primetime (8-11pm) with 5.97 million while CNN won the night in younger viwers with 2.47 million. Here are the Nielsen Time Period averages (in millions of viewers) for the big three broadcasters and cable networks.

  • 8-11pmET

NBC – 8.933
ABC – 7.207
CBS – 6.741
FNC – 5.970
CNN – 5.371
MSNBC – 1.717

  • 7pmET (Cable Only)

FNC – 5.748
CNN – 5.195
MSNBC – 1.429

  • 8pmET (Broadcast & Cable):

NBC – 10.703
ABC – 7.794
FNC – 7.645 / 1.926 A25-54
CBS – 6.858
CNN – 6.784 / 2.474 A25-54
MSNBC – 1.744 / 618K A25-54

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