Fox News Channel most watched for Ferguson coverage

A fire in Ferguson, Mo., after the Michael Brown case grand jury decision
Members of the media arrive at the scene of a fire after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests.
(David Goldman / AP)

Millions tuned in to cable news networks on Monday night to watch coverage of unrest and protests in Ferguson, Mo. 

A Missouri grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparking violent and peaceful protests across the U.S. News outlets broadcast coverage of the decision and its aftermath all night.

According to Nielsen Media Research, Fox News Channel led Monday night cable news network ratings in total viewers, averaging about 5.6 million people during its prime-time coverage from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST.

This was the Fox News Channel’s second-highest-rated prime-time coverage since it changed its program lineup in October 2013.The network delivered its highest ratings during the midterm elections in November.

CNN came in second during prime time with about 5 million viewers. MSNBC came in third with about 1.6 million viewers.

However, CNN dominated ratings in the advertiser-preferred 25-to-54-year-old demographic, averaging 2.6 million viewers in that demo during prime time. Fox News was second with about 1.7 million viewers in that demo. MSNBC averaged 432,000.

During the 9 p.m. EST hour, when the decision was announced by prosecutor Bob McCulloch, Fox News’ “The Kelly File” was the No. 1 most watched overall with 7.25 million viewers. It was second in the desired demo with about 2.2 million viewers.

Meanwhile, CNN’s “AC360" averaged the most viewers in the 25-to-54-year-old demo. The broadcast drew in about 6.25 million viewers overall and about 3.15 million viewers in the key age demo. MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow” came in third with 2.2 million viewers total and 742,000 viewers in the 25-to-54 demo.

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