Most-watched quarter in CNN history

Q2 is most-watched quarter in CNN's 40 year history

The second quarter of 2020 was CNN’s most-watched quarter ever.

July 1st, 2020


CNN is #1 in ALL of Cable During Dayside

CNN Beats MSNBC for:

25th Consecutive Quarter in Total Day;

31st Straight Quarter in Dayside;

2nd Consecutive Quarter in Prime Time among Adults 25-54

Network Audience Grows Triple-Digits Over Last Year

CNN also Has Best Month of June Ever

The second quarter of 2020 was CNN’s most-watched quarter ever.

CNN had record viewership in both total day and prime time, among total viewers, the biggest audience in CNN’s 40-year history.  Every CNN prime time program also hit historic audience levels, each program posting its best quarterly ratings ever.  During dayside, CNN was #1 in ALL of cable (not just news) for the quarter among adults 25-54.  Viewers flocked to CNN for the latest news and information, with the network’s audience growing triple digits this quarter, compared to last year, far greater growth than of its competitors.

CNN’s digital platforms also had their best quarter ever, making CNN the most watched and most used news and information brand in the world.

In total day, CNN had its best quarter in history among total viewers, averaging 1.194 million.  In the key demographic of adults 25-54, CNN outperformed MSNBC (337k vs. 197k) for the 25th straight quarter, the longest quarterly streak since Q2 2010.  Compared to a year ago, CNN grew far more than Fox or MSNBC in total viewers, increasing its audience by +119%, while Fox was up +48% and MSNBC was +34%.  In the key demo adults 25-54, CNN was up an impressive +150% to Fox’s +61% to MSNBC’s +46% in total day vs. last year. Q2 2020 also marked the smallest gap between CNN and Fox (-9%) since Q4 2008 and the largest advantage vs. MSNBC (+71%) since Q4 2015 in the demo.

CNN had its most-watched prime time in history as well this quarter, averaging 1.824 million total viewers in M-Su prime and 1.949 million in M-F prime time.  Among adults 25-54, CNN outperformed MSNBC in M-Su prime time (533k vs. 327k) and in weekday prime (573k vs. 391k), for the second consecutive quarter.  In M-Su prime time, CNN grew much more than the others, increasing +133% in total viewers and +175% among adults 25-54, compared to Fox’s +48%/+65% and MSNBC’s +19%/+25%.  In weekday prime time, CNN’s growth was also significant, up +120% in total viewers and +159% among 25-54.  MSNBC’s marquee M-F prime time programs were up far less this quarter increasing only +14% in total viewers and +17% in the demo adults 25-54; Fox was up +44%/+58% respectively. In M-Su prime, this was CNN’s smallest gap with Fox (-17%) since Q3 2017 and largest advantage over MSNBC (+63%) since Q1 2016 in the demo and in M-F prime, this is CNN’s narrowest gap with Fox (-21%) since Q3 2016 and largest advantage over MSNBC (+47%) since Q1 2016.

During dayside (9a-4p), CNN was #1 in all of cable this quarter (not just news), and for the first time in cable news in 19 years among adults 25-54.  Compared to cable news, CNN was most watched for the first time since Q4 2001, averaging 382k, Fox followed with 359k, and MSNBC had 210k in the demo. CNN has now surpassed MSNBC for the 31st straight quarter among 25-54 during dayside.  In total viewers, CNN averaged 1.389 million, the network’s second highest dayside delivery on record (after Q1 1995).  CNN also beat MSNBC in total viewers this quarter (1.389 million vs. MSNBC’s 1.331 million) for the first time since Q2 2017.  Compared to a year ago, CNN is up +124% in total viewers and +179% in adults 25-54. Fox was up +42%/+59% and MSNBC, now ranked third in dayside among total viewers and the demo, was up +52%/+94% respectively.

On weekends, CNN was #1 in cable news in total day (CNN 300k to Fox’s 293k to MSNBC’s 130k) and tied Fox for #1 in prime time (434k/434k/166k) among adults 25-54 this quarter, growing triple digits, more than Fox and MSNBC. CNN also surpassed MSNBC on weekends among total viewers in total day  (1.114 million vs. MSNBC’s 778k) and prime time (1.512 million vs. MSNBC’s 972k) and delivered higher demo audiences than MSNBC for all 24 hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

Among ALL cable networks (not just news), CNN ranked #1 in dayside in the demo and #3 in total day and prime time in total viewers this quarter. CNN continues to have the youngest audience in cable news in total day and prime. Additionally, CNN reaches the largest average monthly cumulative TV audience (among both total viewers and adults 25-54) of any cable news network 2020 to-date. Across platforms, CNN reaches more total people than any other cable news brand across TV and digital and more people ages 25-54 than any other news brand across TV and digital.

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