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As it did with the Casey Anthony trial over the summer, which brought in record-setting viewers for the cable network, HLN broadcast complete coverage of Murray’s trial. But, in the early days of the case, it didn’t seem to be catching on with viewers, only giving the CNN sister network a two-percent bump in the trial’s first week.
However, with controversial testimony from Murray’s girlfriends, cardiologist experts and shocking photos of Jackson’s naked body taken after the autopsy (which found that the singer died of acute propofol intoxication after suffering from cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009), not to mention a defense strategy that cited Jackson self-administered the drug, viewership increased.
HLN was number one in the news’ target demographic of 25 to 54 year-olds at 4 p.m. (during the verdict reading), beating out CNN, Fox News, MSNBC as well as CNBC. Additionally, from 4:15 to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time when the verdict was read, 2.1 million total viewers were watching HLN with 762,000 of them in demo.
The network also reported a 98 percent increase in total viewers and a 42 percent increase in the demo for the month of October between the 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. hours compared to last year at the same time, giving it the greatest year-over-year ratings gains out of all the cable networks.
Comparatively, HLN saw its highest-rated month ever during the Casey Anthony trial, boasting an average of 982,000 total viewers, beating out Fox News in the 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. hours.
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