Friday evening, with Hurricane Irene barreling toward the eastern seaboard, the Weather Channel became the go-to cable news channel. Ratings data from Nielsen show that Weather was easily the most watched cable news outlet in both total viewers and the key adults 25-54 demographic Friday evening.
In primetime, Weather averaged 2.45 million viewers, including 1.11 million adults 25-54. By comparison, Fox News Channel drew 1.96 million total viewers and 462,000 A25-54. CNN had 1.39 million total viewers, including 477,000 demo viewers while MSNBC had 680,000 total viewers, including 205,000 A25-54.
CNN also had a strong night ratings-wise.
While FNC and MSNBC saw a slight bump in the ratings from a typical Friday evening, CNN’s viewership bump was substantial, finishing second behind Weather in the demo for the night.
Weather peaked at 9 PM, averaging 2.58 million viewers, including 1.18 million A25-54. CNN peaked at 10 PM, averaging 1.55 million viewers including 605,000 A25-54. FNC peaked at 8 PM with 2.29 million total and 503,000 A25-54. MSNBC peaked at 9 PM with 844,000 total viewers and 252,000 A25-54. (Note: as the final Friday ratings grid will show, FNC actually peaked in demo viewers at 6 PM, but for ad sales purposes “primetime” typically begins at 7 PM.)
In total day, Weather remained number one in both total viewers and the demo, although it was a little bit closer than it was in primetime:
Total: 1.582M Demo: 637K
Total: 1.421M Demo: 386K
Total: 952K Demo: 334K
Total: 475K Demo: 155K