CNN Ratings rise again with live news coverage, MSNBC struggles

CNN ratings have risen again over rival MSNBC in the last two weeks from major international news stories including the Japan crisis and the Libya conflict.

MSNBC has struggled to fend off the competition over the last few weekends because of its pre-recorded program line up. With such major world news events drawing audiences, pre recorded shows are even less popular than usual.

However, despite the surge in ratings for CNN, profitability is always an issue, as live events require journalists on the ground, and huge costs to bring the news to the studio. Is there a balance between pre-recorded shows and live news where both can win?

Hit shows like Two And A Half Men are consistent in bringing in audiences, but when there is a major news story taking place in the world, that becomes a focal point for audiences.

CNN vs MSNBC Ratings

NYtimes : They lost a great opportunity to set themselves out as one of the few places people can get breaking news. When you are near a nuclear meltdown, I can t imagine a decision to go with your regular programming at that point.

Fancast : As long-time viewers of MSNBC know well, the news channel abandons news coverage at around midday (and sometimes later) on weekends, reverting to repeats of its various documentary series such as the ongoing prison show Lockup. And it's at these times that CNN is seeing its ratings rise.

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