LOS ANGELES, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The lengthy fight for the U.S. presidency has proven a boon for top TV news media, whose ratings have soared during the campaign cycle.
Variety reported Saturday that the ongoing battles for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations have resulted in a series of major political events that produced increased ratings for news groups such as CNN and MSNBC.
Comparing both news networks' ratings this January with 2007, the two cable news outlets have seen their ratings increase by 42 percent and 37 percent, respectively.
Fox News Channel has seen a similar ratings boost during the political season as the news outlet became the fourth most popular cable network in the United States.
George Stephanopoulos, who served as an adviser for then-President Bill Clinton and now is an ABC correspondent, told Variety the campaign race has been a large draw due in part to its competitiveness.
"It's the first wide-open election since 1952, at least, and there have been intense fights within the parties." Stephanopoulos said. "So people get that it's an important election; it is theater, but it's theater rooted in issues of real consequence."