Consider this a preview of the ratings for last week. At the time of writing this post, the numbers for Friday, July 3, 2009 were not available. The numbers listed below are based on a weekly average only including Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (unless otherwise noted).
Once Friday's numbers are available and I'm able to get back to a computer, I will update this post with the updated averages. One day can make a significant difference in the average ratings for the week. As I've mentioned in prior posts, the math can work for or against a network when looking at adding or subtracting a day from the weekly average.
Regardless of your opinion on whether or not the news media did or did not provide the appropriate level of coverage of Michael Jackson's death, the cable news ratings felt the impact of it in the Adults 25 - 54 demographic.
Lets start with the 8PM hour: All four networks were consistent in the ratings for all four nights. FOX still dominated the demographic with the highest demographic rating for each night. In second place for the week was HLN. And here's the part that is different from most weeks, CNN comes in third place with MSNBC following behind in fourth.
The 9PM hour was a battle between FOX and CNN with CNN coming out on top. Both had two first place finishes and two second place finishes. Trailing behind with less than half the number of viewers (on average) that CNN had is HLN in third and MSNBC in fourth.
The 10PM hour is very similar to the 9PM hour. CNN won three out of four nights and came in second place once. FOX comes in second place for the week with three second place finishes and one first place finish (on Wednesday night). In third place is HLN and again HLN has about half as many viewers on average than CNN. In fourth place is MSNBC.
12 night average used for MSNBC at 9PM. Wednesday and Thursday nights were coded with special programming.
2 3 night average used for MSNBC at 10PM. Wednesday night excluded for special programming covering Michael Jackson's death.
^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.