CNN disputes MSNBC Net ratings claims

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CNN is taking issue with MSNBC on the Internet's claim of being the Web's No. 1 general news service. MSNBC, citing PC Meter data from January, trumpeted its claim in a news release and will follow with its first major trade ad effort March 24. But a CNN spokesman notes PC Meter tracks only home usage. Meanwhile, he claims, 75% of traffic on CNN Web traffic comes during business hours--mostly, he says, away from the home.

Upstart MSNBC is aggressively pushing its PC Meter claims. The Web site plans a one-day trade campaign March 24 to promote its top ranking. MSNBC is buying a page in Advertising Age, Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, Electronic Media and Interactive Week and a quarter page in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The ad, created in-house, is the service's first significant trade effort. MSNBC will evaluate results before deciding how to proceed with other ads. In his home measurement, PC Meter ranked MSNBC No. 1 among general Web news services, ahead of CNN, USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal sites. MSNBC on the Internet is part of Microsoft Corp.'s and NBC's MSNBC cable/Web venture.

Copyright March 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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