December 20th, 2019

6.2 Million Watch PBS NewsHour and POLITICO Debate Simulcast on CNN

8.4M Live Starts Across PBS, POLITICO & CNN Digital Platforms

CNN Ranks #1 in Prime Time in Cable News

A combined 6.171 million total viewers watched the PBS NewsHour and POLITICO Democratic Debate that was simulcast on CNN last night (8-10:30pm) according to Nielsen Fast National data.  Among adults 25-54, 1.497 million tuned in and among younger viewers (18-34), 454k watched.  The debate was moderated by PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff, POLITICO’s chief political correspondent Tim Alberta, PBS NewsHour senior national correspondent Amna Nawaz and PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.

Separately, PBS stations nationwide reached more than 2.062 million viewers, and CNN attracted 4.088 million.  Among adults 25-54, PBS registered 446k and CNN had 1.047 million, and in younger viewers PBS had 141k and CNN had 312k.

Digital viewing of the debate on PBS (PBS NewsHour’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Apple News;, PBS Video mobile app, and PBS Video OTT app), POLITICO (, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube) and CNN (authenticated, CNN mobile apps & CNNgo) translated to an additional 424k P2+ average audience for a TV and Digital combined total of 6,595k P2+ average.  Total digital live starts came to 8.4 million.

CNN ranked #1 in cable news in prime time last night (8-11pm) easily topping Fox and MSNBC across the board. In total viewers, CNN had 3.966 million, Fox followed with 3.638 million and MSNBC had 1.827 million.  In the key demo adults 25-54, CNN had 1.026, Fox lagged with 613k and MSNBC followed with 271k.  Among 18-34 CNN had 301k to Fox’s 84k to MSNBC’s 28k.

CNN’s post-debate program (10:30pm-1am) with Chris Cuomo, Dana Bash, Gloria Borger, Van Jones and David Axelrod also ranked #1 in cable news, outperforming Fox and MSNBC among adults 25-54 (524k/377k/235kk) and in 18-34 (123k/45k/24k).  In total viewers, CNN topped MSNBC (1.790 million vs. 1.451 million).

(On CNN en Español, 20k watched the debate (8-10:30pm) among total viewers, 4k among adults 25-54 and 1k among 18-34.)

Last night was the second time that the two networks teamed up to simulcast a debate.  The first time was in 2016.