Hurricane Dennis: FNC #1 In Total Day & Primetime, But CNN Is Competitive

By Brian 

> Update: 10:46am: As the hurricane made landfall between 3 and 6pm, FNC averaged 2,010,000, while CNN had 1,617,000 and MSNBC had 592,000.

> Peaks: FNC’s highest-rated coverage came at the tail end of the 4pm hour, with 2,193,000 viewers. CNN never peaked over two million; their high point came between 4 and 5pm, when they averaged 1,850,000. MSNBC peaked between 1 and 2pm with 671,000.

Fox News beat CNN in total day and primetime during Sunday’s Hurricane Dennis coverage, despite CNN’s extensive promotion as “your Hurricane Headquarters.” But CNN came close to beating FNC, especially in primetime. Here are the numbers, courtesy of Fox:

Total day: FNC: 1,188,000 / CNN: 940,000 / MSNBC: 356,000

Primetime: FNC: 1,131,000 / CNN: 1,069,000 / MSNBC: 303,000

Between 4 and 6pm, at the hurricane’s peak, FNC averaged 2,061,000 viewers, while CNN had 1,577,000 and MSNBC had 588,000. In the 25-54 demo between 4 and 6pm, FNC delivered 684,000 viewers, while CNN had 677,000 and MSNBC had 283,000.

> Update: 10:19am: “Now you must feel pretty stupid for promoting CNN all day on Sunday, right?,” an e-mailer says…

> Update: 10:50am: “Just because Fox News brought in a slightly higher rating doesn’t mean their coverage was superior,” a tipster writes. “I think most of us in the industry know CNN beat Fox in reporting the story.”