Who Was No. 1 in Peterson Ratings?

Court TV and Fox News Channel traded jabs Wednesday after the investigation channel claimed bragging rights as the “No. 1 news network” for its coverage of convicted killer Scott Peterson’s death sentence.

Court TV put out a press release claiming that it had surpassed Fox News as the top-rated news network due to the numbers it racked up televising the Peterson sentencing Monday. Court TV said it had a 2.5 household rating when the sentence was announced, equating to 2.4 million total viewers.

Fox News disputed Court TV’s claim to being No. 1, as well as its viewership numbers, while Court TV held firm and said its figures were correct and were direct from Nielsen Media Research.

Fox News claimed that for the full quarter-hour when the sentence was delivered, 4:45 p.m.-5 p.m., it averaged 2.248 million viewers compared with Court TV’s 2.215 million.

For full coverage of the sentencing, from 4 p.m.-6:45 p.m. Monday, Fox News said it outperformed Court TV in households, total viewers and viewers 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. Fox News averaged 2.1 million viewers versus Court TV’s 1.7 million.

Court TV officials charged that Fox News had the numbers wrong.