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Cable News Ratings Rise with Coverage of Boston Bombings

The bombings at the Boston Marathon Monday drove viewers to cable news, with the combined primetime audience for CNN, Fox News and MSNBC up 161% over the prior Monday, according to Nielsen data.

CNN topped the target adults 25-54 demo in primetime, averaging 1.32 million viewers to Fox News' 1.19 million and MSNBC’s 461,000 viewers from 8-11 p.m. In total viewers, Fox News was first with an audience of 3.9 million, CNN was second with 2.75 million viewers and MSNBC drew 1.244 million.

In the 3 p.m. hour -- the news of the explosions broke at 3:07 p.m. (ET) -- Fox News averaged 1.96 million total viewers and 542,000 adults 25-54, CNN drew 970,000 viewers and 349,000 in the key demo and MSNBC had 435,000 total viewers and 129,000 adults 25-54.