CNN #1 IN CABLE NEWS IN PRIME TIME; BEATS FOX NEWS FOR 5 OF THE PAST 8 MONTHS
April 26th, 2016
12:58 PM ET

CNN #1 IN CABLE NEWS IN PRIME TIME; BEATS FOX NEWS FOR 5 OF THE PAST 8 MONTHS

CNN Posts Triple Digit Growth in Prime Time; Most in TV

Narrows Gap with Fox News in Total Day to Smallest in Over Seven Years

CNN also #1 on Weekends

CNN ranked #1 in cable news in prime time in April. CNN beat Fox News for the fifth time in the last eight months in M-Su prime time (four of the past eight in M-F prime) among adults 25-54.  The last time CNN had this many prime time wins in an eight-month period versus Fox News was over 14 years ago (Nov. 2001). CNN also handily topped MSNBC this month in all dayparts, with CNN besting MSNBC for the 22nd straight month in Total Day (among both total viewers and among adults 25-54) and in prime time (among 25-54).  In total viewers, CNN has now beaten MSNBC for the fifth straight month (or seven out of eight months) in prime time.  CNN continued to top MSNBC by wide margins during the day (9am-4pm) – posting a +36% advantage in total viewers (630k vs. MSNBC’s 464k) and +58% more among adults 25-54 (161k vs. 102k).

In April, CNN had the most growth of any television network (cable or broadcast) among both total viewers and adults 25-54, increasing triple digits in prime time.  Among ALL cable networks in April, CNN ranked #7 in total viewers in M-F prime time.  In Total Day, CNN was also up vs. last year, increasing +59% in total viewers and +48% among adults 25-54.

Of particular note, CNN has narrowed the gap with Fox News (196k vs. Fox News’ 215k) to its smallest level (-9%) in over seven years (since October, 2008) in Today Day among adults 25-54.  CNN beat Fox News in prime time this month among adults 25-54.

cable news apr 6 vs apr 15

Even using the less inclusive measurement (Live+SD), CNN beats Fox News to rank #1 across cable news among in both M-Su Prime (372k vs. Fox News’ 344k) and M-F Prime (435k vs. Fox News’ 402k) among adults 25-54 this month. CNN beat Fox News for the fourth of last eight months in M-Su prime among adults 25-54 (April, February 2016 and December, September 2015) in Live+SD.  CNN was behind Fox News by -1k (293k vs. 294k) in October 2015 (Live+SD), but ahead of Fox News (307k vs. 300k) in the more inclusive measurement (Live+7).

CNN April 2016 Program Highlights:

Dayside:

  • CNN dayside (9am-4pm) all ranked #2 in April, with CNN posting a +36% advantage over MSNBC in total viewers (630k vs. MSNBC’s 464k) and +58% more among adults 25-54 (161k vs. 102k).  CNN also grew vs. a year ago, increasing +35% in total viewers and +32% among adults 25-54.

Late Afternoons:

  • The Lead with Jake Tapper (4pm) ranked #2 in cable news, easily topping MSNBC in both total viewers (756k vs. MSNBC’s 477k) and the demo (195k vs. 101k).  The Lead grew an impressive +56% in total viewers and +48% among adults 25-54 from a year ago.
  • The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (5-7pm) ranked #2 in cable news besting MSNBC in both total viewers (784k vs. MSNBC’s 603k) and in the demo (216k vs. 122k). The Situation Room was up in total viewers (+60%) and among adults 25-54 (+38%) vs. year ago.

Prime time:

  • CNN beat MSNBC during M-F prime time hours at 7pm, 8pm and 10pm in the key demo 25-54 for the 22nd straight month.  The longest streak on record.
  • Erin Burnett Outfront (7pm) narrowed the gap significantly with Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren to just -18k or -7%.  This is the smallest gap between EBOF and On the Record since the Fox News show premiered at 7pm in October 2013. For the month, the Burnett-led program ranked #2 in the demo (252k) easily topping MSNBC’s Hardball’s 196k.  EBOF was up the most in cable news at 7pm in total viewers increasing +66%, and increased by +53% in the demo vs. a year ago.
  • Anderson Cooper 360 ranked #2 in both total viewers (1.005m) and the demo (311k) easily topping MSNBC’s Chris Hayes (890k/215k).  AC 360 was the highest-rated CNN primetime news program.  AC 360 grew an impressive +81% in total viewers and +74% in the demo compared to last year.  CNN has now topped MSNBC in total viewers for the seventh straight month and in the demo for the 22nd consecutive month at 8p.
  • CNN programming at 9pm is registering its second highest M-F delivery among total viewers since March 2011 (after March 2016).  CNN has also topped MSNBC at 9pm among adults 25-54 for four of the last six months.
  • CNN Tonight with Don Lemon ranked #2 in the demo (284k), topping MSNBC (246k).  CNN has now beaten MSNBC at 10pm for the 22nd straight month in the important key demo 25-54.  The Lemon-led program was up a whopping +100% in total viewers and +73% among 25-54 vs. last year.

Weekends:

  • CNN ranks #1 in Total Day and in prime time on weekends (Sa-Su) among adults 25-54.
  • CNN Sunday shows (11am-2pm, 3-7pm) all rank #1 among adults 25-54.
  • CNN Original Series premieres at 9pm rank #1 on Sundays among adults 25-54.

 Saturdays:

  • Smerconish (9am) ranked #2 in total viewers (680k vs. MSNBC’s 359k) and among 25-54 (187k vs. MSNBC’s 88k).  The show was up +48% in both total viewers and adults 25-54 compared to last year.
  • CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield ranked #1 at 12 noon and 1pm among 25-54.  The show grew all hours vs. a year ago.

 Sundays:

  • Inside Politics with John King (8am) ranked #2 in both total viewers (621k) and the demo (182k).  MSNBC ranked 4th in the demo. The program grew +32% in total viewers and +24% in the demo from last year.
  • State of the Union with Jake Tapper ranked #2 on Sundays at 9am and was #1 at noon in the key demo 25-54.  At 9am SOTU averaged 690k in total viewers and grew +50% vs. last year, and registered 206k in the demo (+54%).  At noon, SOTU was up +53% in total viewers (825k) and +45% in the demo (215k) compared to a year ago. The Tapper-led Sunday show has now been #1 at noon for four consecutive months, and five of the past six months.
  • Fareed Zakaria GPS (10am) ranked #2 in total viewers (793k, up +51%) and in the demo 25-54 (194k, up +43%).  At 1pm GPS ranked #1 in the demo 25-54 (184k, up +37%).  The Zakaria-led Sunday show has now been #1 at 1pm for 3 of the past 4 months.
  • Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter (11am) was #1 in cable news at 11am on Sundays topping Fox News’ Media Buzz among adults 25-54 (208k vs. Fox’s 207k).  RS grew significantly vs. a year ago, increasing +60% in total viewers and +52% in the demo 25-54.  RS ranked #2 total viewers (749k).

April Political Events (Live+SD):

  • CNN’s Wisconsin GOP Town Hall and AC 360 New York Trump Family Town Hall and the New York Democratic Primary Debate all ranked #1 in cable news in their respective time periods among total viewers, adults 25-54 and 18-34 in April.
  • CNN was #1 in cable news during April primary election nights (Wisconsin and New York) among 25-54 and 18-34.

 CNN Original Series:

  • Race for the White House Season 1 (3/6-4/10/16): The series premiere and second premiere episodes were the most-watched and 3rd most-watched, respectively, CNN Original Series telecasts to-date (thru 4/24/16) among adults 25-54.  Ranked #1 across cable news in its time period among total viewers, adults 25-54 and 18-34, outperforming the combined delivery of Fox News and MSNBC.
  • The Wonder List with Bill Weir Season 2 to-date (3/20-4/17/16) ranked #1 (tied with Fox News) across cable news in its time period among adults 25-54 and grew above its Season 1 average by +12% in total viewers.
  • The Eighties Season 1 to-date (3/31-4/7/16): The series premiere episode was the 2nd most-watched CNN Original Series telecast to-date (thru 4/24/16) among 25-54.  Across cable news in its time period, ranked #1 among both adults 25-54 and 18-34.
  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Season 7 premiere (4/24/16) ranked #1 across cable news in its time period among both adults 25-54 and 18-34.
  • United Shades of America series premiere (4/24/16) ranked #1 across cable news in its time period among both adults 25-54 and 18-34, outperforming the combined delivery of Fox News and MSNBC in each demo. The W. Kamau Bell-led show was the 5th most-watched CNN Original Series season premiere episode among adults 25-54.

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