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THE RACE TO THE WHITE HOUSE

Fox News Beats Networks for Bush-Speech Viewers

September 04, 2004|Scott Collins

Coverage of President Bush's Republican convention address Thursday capped a record-breaking week for Fox News Channel, as viewers this election cycle have increasingly migrated to cable networks for political news.

During the crucial hour of 7 to 8 p.m., which included most of Bush's speech, Fox News averaged 7.3 million viewers, topping NBC (5.9 million), CBS (5 million) and ABC (5.1 million), according to Nielsen Media Research. CNN drew 2.6 million viewers and MSNBC 1.7 million. It was the third straight night that Fox News beat the broadcasters.

The cable networks posted healthy gains for prime time convention coverage compared with the Republican convention in 2000. But a partisan divide was evident. Fox News viewership rose 137% from its broadcast of the Democratic convention, while MSNBC was off 17% and CNN slumped 31% during the GOP event.

-- Scott Collins

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