CNN Press Room

CNN Has Most-Watched Third Quarter Ever


Key Programs Set Record Ratings, Post Double-Digit Growth from Last Year

CNN Beats MSNBC for 14th Straight Quarter;

Cuts Deficit with Fox News to Smallest in 9 years



CNN had its most-watched third quarter ever.  The quarter ended Sunday with record high ratings throughout key dayparts and programs.

In Total Day, CNN had its most-watched third quarter ever among total viewers and its highest 3Q delivery among adults 25-54 in 16 years (since 2001).  In prime time, CNN delivered its second highest 3Q since 2008 in both total viewers and the demo (25-54).  During dayside programming (9am-4pm), CNN had its best 3Q delivery since 1995 in total viewers and since 2001 among adults 25-54.

Several key CNN programs also posted their highest 3Q deliveries on record among adults 25-54, including CNN’s Erin Burnett Outfront, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, The Lead with Jake Tapper and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.  New Day posted its second highest quarterly performance on record among both adults 25-54 and total viewers.

CNN ranked #2 in cable news this quarter, beating MSNBC once again in Total Day and dayside programming among adults 25-54.  In Total Day, CNN outperformed MSNBC for the 14th straight quarter (266k vs. MSNBC’s 216k), the longest quarterly streak since 2Q 2010.  In daytime, CNN topped MSNBC for the 20th straight quarter among adults 25-54 (244k vs. MSNBC’s 177k).  During prime time, the competition is close, with only 6k separating CNN from MSNBC and 58k from Fox News.  CNN’s weekend programming was #1 in both Total Day and prime time, easily outperforming both MSNBC and Fox News.

CNN cut the deficit with Fox News to it smallest in nine years (since 4Q-08) in Total Day among adults 25-54.

Several key CNN programs ranked #1 in cable news this quarter, posting higher demo audiences than both Fox News and MSNBC, including: Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs, State of the Union with Jake Tapper (noon) and Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter. CNN programming on Saturdays (11am-8pm and 9pm-5am) and Sundays (11am-1pm and 2pm-3am) also ranked #1 in cable news for the quarter.

Among ALL cable networks, CNN ranked #7 in Total Day and #10 in prime time among total viewers.  This marks the fifth straight quarter and longest quarterly streak in nearly 22 years (since 4Q 1995) that CNN is a Top 10 Cable network among total viewers in Total Day.

(For context when comparing 3Q prime time a year ago – CNN had an unprecedented ratings lift and posted record high viewership due to the RNC and DNC convention coverage that aired during the third quarter last summer – which is why the network is down slightly vs. last year in the prime time daypart.)

Median Age:

Both MSNBC and Fox News’ audience skews much older than CNN’s as shown by the number of total viewers they attract vs. the key demographic adults 25-54.  Year-to-date, CNN’s median age in Total Day is 60 years, Fox News and MSNBC are both 65.  In prime time, CNN is 59 years, MSNBC is 65 years and Fox News has the oldest skewing audience at 66 years.  CNN is tracking at its youngest yearly median age since 2008 in Total Day, while MSNBC is at its oldest on record.

CNN 3Q 2017 Program Highlights:


Evenings/Prime Time:


CNN 3Q 2017 Original Series, CNN Films and CNN Special Reports Highlights:


End of Month September 2017 Highlights:

All CNN programs beat MSNBC in the demo 25-54, posting double-digit growth: