Cable News Ratings Advance with Malaysian Crash Coverage

The cable news networks provided wall-to-wall coverage of the Malaysian Airline crash in Ukraine Thursday, and each net saw hefty viewership increases during the primetime hours.

Fox News Channel topped the pack, averaging a shade over 3 million viewers from 8-11 p.m., led by all-time bests for The Kelly File and Hannity among total viewers with 3.18 million and 2.58 million, respectively. The O'Reilly Factor was the most-watched show with 3.48 million viewers. Among the adults 25-54 news demo, O'Reilly drew 561,000, Kelly File 534,000 and Hannity 615,000 of those viewers.

FNC was up 32% over Wednesday and 24% over last Thursday, while MSNBC — which averaged 826,000 viewers in primetime — garnered increases of 21% and 28%, respectively. CNN saw the biggest gains, leapfrogging MSNBC for second to finish with 1.2 million total viewers, well above the 352,000 for Wednesday and almost double from last Thursday's 644,000.

The race was a bit closer among the news demo, with FNC still tops with 570,00 viewers with CNN at 488,000 and MSNBC with 184,000.