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Americans Flock to TV, Internet For Bailout News
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Americans Flock to TV, Internet For Bailout News

Television audiences for four U.S. news networks spiked Monday afternoon after the House of Representatives voted to defeat Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s Wall Street bailout bill, Nielsen reported Wednesday. 

During the 2pm to 3pm (EST) daypart on Monday, the combined audiences for CNN, CNBC, FOX News, and MSNBC jumped by 71% over the average daily audience for that daypart between Sept. 1 and Sept. 28, according to Nielsen.  The 3pm to 4pm daypart saw an even larger jump (103%) over the average audience for the prior portion of September. 

Daypart CNN, CNBC, FOX News, and MSNBC Combined TV Audience:

Sept. 1 – 28

(in 000s)

CNN, CNBC, FOX News, and MSNBC

Combined TV Audience:

Sept. 29

(in 000s)

% Difference
6:00-7:00 AM 1,719 1,708 -1%
7:00-8:00 AM 2,429 2,649 9%
8:00-9:00 AM 3,027 3,265 8%
9:00-10:00 AM 3,343 3,381 1%
10:00-

11:00 AM

3,541 3,335 -6%
11:00 AM-12:00 PM 3,482 3,170 -9%
12:00-1:00 PM 3,296 3,133 -5%
1:00-2:00 PM 3,155 3,840 22%
2:00-3:00 PM 3,090 5,279 71%
3:00-4:00 PM 3,120 6,333 103%
4:00-5:00 PM 3,542 7,004 98%
5:00-6:00 PM 3,841 7,067 84%
6:00-7:00 PM 4,124 6,421 56%
7:00-8:00 PM 4,412 6,845 55%
8:00-9:00 PM 6,254 9,046 45%
9:00-10:00 PM 6,945 7,767 12%
10:00-

11:00 PM

6,674 6,296 -6%
Source: The Nielsen Company (September 1, 2008 – September 29, 2008).

CNN, CNBC, FOX NEWS, and MSNBC’s combined audience spiked at almost 7.1 million viewers during the 5pm to 6pm hour — an 84% increase over that daypart’s average daily audience for Sept. 1 through Sept. 28.

Also surging on Monday: blog discussions with the terms “wall street” and “bailout.”  Overall, nearly 2% of all blog posts on Sept. 29 mentioned the term “bailout.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, traffic to online brokerage websites was up by 30% between September 15 and 21 — the week that AIG and Lehman Brothers collapsed, according to Nielsen data released Tuesday.

Unique visitors to online trading sites increased from a weekly average of 9.2 million during the previous seven weeks (July 28 – September 14) to nearly 12 million during the week ending September 21. 

ShareBuilder.com, Scottrade.com, and Merrill Lynch’s corporate website traffic also jumped between September 15 and 21 — by 217%, 104%, and 128%, respectively.

The total number of people accessing the Internet remained stable during that time period.

Website

(Ranked by

Sept. 15 – 21 UA)

Weekly Average

Unique Audience

July 28 – Sept. 14

(in 000s)

Weekly Average

Unique Audience

Sept. 15 – 21

(in 000s)

% Growth
Online Trading Category 9,212 11,992 30%
Fidelity.com 2,061 2,742 33%
ShareBuilder 625 1,980 217%
Scottrade 790 1,612 104%
Vanguard 720 1,434 99%
Ameritrade 806 1,090 35%
Merrill Lynch 436 994 128%
Charles Schwab 634 927 46%
E Trade 713 900 26%
troweprice.com 282 506 80%
Source: The Nielsen Company (July 28, 2008 – September 21, 2008)

View the full press release.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in The Baltimore Sun.