Tags: cnn | malaysia | flight | ratings

CNN Doubles Its Ratings Due to Flight 370, Still Trails Fox Badly

Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 06:16 PM

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Bad news is good news for CNN, which doubled its ratings with its wall-to-wall coverage of Malaysian Airlines 370.

The network's popularity has been falling for months, with its prime-time shows losing half their audience since February 2013.

But from the moment on March 8 when it broke the news that the jet was missing, its figures started to show a dramatic improvement.

By Sunday, March 23, the total daytime audience was up 82 percent, Mediabistro reports, and it increased 99 percent among viewers aged between 25 and 54, who are most prized by advertisers for their buying power.

"For all the complaints about CNN’s breathless coverage of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 (This just in: no new developments!), the cable network's nonstop coverage certainly pays off from a business point of view," wrote Bloomberg Businessweek's head of research, Eric Chemi.

"Big news events draw eyeballs. And delivering big ratings numbers for advertisers means more money in the cable network's pocket, and better returns for Time Warner (TWX) shareholders.

"It makes sense that CNN’s ratings spike during major news events, but you may be surprised at how much."

"In truth, viewers come in droves to CNN when there are big global news events. For all the talk about the increasingly fragmented world of television audiences, CNN's saturation-coverage strategy works."

The network continues, however, to be crushed by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News.

For the week of March 17, which included the Ukraine crisis as well as the continuing search for Flight 370, Fox was the most popular cable news network, with an average of 1.2 million viewers, double that of CNN.

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