CNN Press Room


CNN is #8 In All of Cable Prime Time; Highest Ranking Since 1995

Beats MSNBC Across the Board, With Biggest Advantage Since 2009

Closest to Fox News in Prime Time and Total Day Since 2008

CNN caps off the year with a major ratings milestone:  2016 was the network’s most-watched year ever among total viewers.  It’s also the second highest viewership on record among both total viewers and adults 25-54 in prime time (behind only 2008).

CNN will close out 2016 ranking #8 in ALL of cable in M-F prime time among total viewers, its highest ranking since 1995 (last year CNN ranked #24).

For the year, CNN ranked #2 in cable news in all dayparts, growing high-double digits vs. 2015.  In daytime (9am-4pm), CNN posted its second highest performance on record among total viewers and its highest since 2008 among adults 25-54.  CNN also ranked #1 during weekend primetime among adults 25-54 for the year.

CNN ends 2016 in an extremely strong competitive position, crushing MSNBC across the board, while posting its biggest advantage since 2009 in Total Day among total viewers.  CNN beat MSNBC in all but one weekday hour, beginning at 8am (New Day) and outperformed them at 7pm, 8pm and 10pm for the third straight year among adults 25-54 and at 8pm for the second consecutive year in total viewers.  CNN registered its closest delivery to Fox News in prime time and Total Day since 2008 among adults 25-54.

In the morning (6-9am), CNN posted its highest yearly 25-54 delivery since 2008 and second highest total viewer level on record.  New Day with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota, which launched in June 2013, averaged its highest yearly performance on record and its largest yearly share of the cable news morning audience on record in both demos. In the 8pm hour, with Anderson Cooper 360, CNN registered its highest yearly 25-54 and total viewer performance on record.  Both Erin Burnett Outfront and CNN Tonight with Don Lemon are posting their highest yearly total viewer and 25-54 deliveries on record.  This year, State of the Union with Jake Tapper ranks #1 at noon among adults 25-54 and The Lead with Jake Tapper posted its highest deliveries on record.

CNN had record breaking viewership for its political event coverage in 2016.  CNN Original Series mostly ranked #1 in the all-important adults 25-54 demo rating in 2016, averaging record highs and attracting younger cable news audiences.

Median Age

In 2016, CNN attracted an audience that is five years younger than Fox News and two years younger than MSNBC in Total Day (CNN 61 years vs. Fox News’ 66 years vs. MSNBC’s 63 years).  Furthermore, MSNBC is at its oldest yearly median age on record (63 years, tied with 2015) in that daypart.  In M-Su primetime, CNN is posting a median age (59 years) that is seven years younger than Fox News (66 years) and four years younger than MSNBC (63 years).  In prime, MSNBC is at its oldest yearly median age on record (63 years, tied with 2015).

CNN End of Year 2016 Program Highlights

Morning, Afternoons:

Prime Time:




2016 Political Event Coverage (Based on Live+SD) Highlights

CNN Original Series 2016 Highlights

CNN Films & CNN Films Presents 2016 Highlights