October 17th, 2012
03:39 PM ET

CNN tops MSNBC during debate; also tops FNC in younger viewers (18-34)


Tuesday, October 16/Nilesen Fast National Ratings Data

  • CNN tops MSNBC by double digits among total viewers and key demos (25-54 and 18-34) throughout the night.
  • CNN had its strongest performance yet among adults 25-54 during this year’s presidential debate cycle.
  • CNN also tops Fox News in younger viewers (18-34); more than doubles MSNBC.
  • While CNN, Fox News and MSNBC were up versus their prior four "non-event" Tuesday averages, CNN's growth of +758% among total viewers and +1117% among adults 25-54 was the most substantial.
  • Compared to 2004 second presidential debate (most similar), CNN was up +70% among total viewers and up +56% among adults 25-54.

9:00-10:45 PM (Actual Debate)

CNN:                5.754 million total viewers/2.581m adults 25-54/1.424m adults 18-34
MSNBC:           4.910 million total vewers/1.920m adults 25-54/658k adults 18-34
FNC:                 11.086 million total viewers/3.460m adults 25-54/900k adults 18-34

8:00-11:00 PM (Prime Time)

CNN:                4.343 million total viewers/1.896m adults 25-54/1.028m adults 18-34
MSNBC:           3.884 million total viewers/1.490m adults 25-54/487k adults 18-34
FNC:                 9.001 million total viewers/2.687m adults 25-54/670k adults 18-34


Topics: CNN Debate • CNN Digital • HLN Press Releases • Ratings
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