When the Dow dives, ratings soar for television’s most popular business-news shows.
General Electric Co.’s CNBC, the top-rated cable business-news network, has drawn its highest audiences since the 2001 terror attacks with its coverage of the Wall Street crises this week, with top shows “Mad Money” and “Fast Money” each attracting around half a million viewers, their largest audiences ever, according to data from Nielsen Media Research.
The channel broadcast live amid reports of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s looming bankruptcy filing, Merrill Lynch & Co.’s sale to Bank of America Corp. and the perilous situation of insurance company American International Group Inc.
Around 488,000 people tuned in to the network’s coverage between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 500 points. Tuesday, when worries continued, 523,000 people tuned in.
Bloomberg Television also had one of its highest-rated days ever Monday, when the network aired an interview with Sen. Barack Obama to discuss the markets, according to a company spokeswoman.
Television ratings aren’t publicly available for News Corp.’s Fox Business Network because Nielsen qualifies the network as “fledgling,” meaning the network receives only private audience data. A Fox spokeswoman declined to provide this week’s ratings data. News Corp. owns The Wall Street Journal.