CNBC was airing re-runs when Standard & Poor's announced that it had lowered the credit rating of the United States. But the leading business news network has certainly benefited from its aggressive coverage of the subsequent market turmoil.
The New York Times' Brian Stelter reports that CNBC's daytime viewer average shot up during the first two weeks of August to 378,000, from 224,000 in July.
Its competitors have likewise experienced ratings bumps. Fox Business Network's average audience from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. rose to 107,000 during the past two weeks, up from 76,000 in July. And while Bloomberg TV, the least-watched of the three business networks, is not publicly rated by the Nielsen Company, "private ratings indicate that it too had a surge in recent weeks," the Times reports. Both Fox Business and Bloomberg TV nudged their way into the limelight two Fridays ago with live special reports of the S&P downgrade.
"CNBC's at-home audience has not been this big since the so-called flash crash of May 2010," Stelter writes.