CNN Leads Cable Channels in Whitney Houston Funeral Ratings
CNN prevailed over cable news competitors in the ratings for Whitney Houston's funeral on Saturday afternoon.
The channel attracted an average audience of five million viewers over the course of its coverage of the singer's Baptist memorial. The event was televised without commercial interruption from 12:15 and 3:45 p.m., resulting in a spike of 5.4 million viewers between 1:30 to 1:45 p.m.
(On a normal Saturday, sans a unifying televised event, CNN draws about 10 times less viewers.)
Meanwhile, the network's softer-news sibling HLN averaged 1.42 million, followed by Fox News (1.38 million) and MSNBC (709,000). Ratings for E! and BET, which also carried the funeral, have yet to be released.
Houston was laid to rest on Sunday alongside her father's grave in Westfield, N.J., in a private, closed-off burial. The day before, a star-studded, live-streamed Baptist "homegoing" ceremony was held for the star, attracting such mourners as Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey and Kevin Costner.
Houston's funeral also lifted CNN's primetime on Saturday. A special edition of Piers Morgan's show -- which featured a recap of the service -- ranked No. 1 among cable news networks at 9 p.m. among total viewers (1.4 million) and news' target demographic of viewers 25-54 (599,000).