August 18th, 2020

CNN Beats All Networks, Broadcast and Cable, in Demos on Night One of The Democratic National Convention




During the first night of the virtual Democratic National Convention, CNN beat the three broadcast networks (NBC, ABC and CBS) in both total viewers and the demos.  CNN was also #1 in cable news among adults 25-54 and younger viewers 18-34.  CNN’s digital platforms had strong numbers yesterday, as the most watched and most used news and information brand in the world.


10pm Hour:  Broadcast and Cable News coverage / Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders

At 10pm, CNN easily beat broadcast nets ABC, CBS, NBC in total viewers and the demo adults 25-54 and 18-34.  CNN also ranked #1 among adults 25-54 and 18-34, dominating MSNBC and FNC at 10pm. CNN topped FNC in total viewers as well.


CNN:  Delivered 1.517 million among adults 25-54, 403k among 18-34 and 4.839 million total viewers (10-11pm)


MSNBC: 1.015 million adults 25-54/210k in 18-34/5.161 million total viewers (10-11pm)


NBC News:  676k among adults 25-54/191k among 18-34/2.282 million total viewers (10-11:10pm)


ABC News: 650k adults 25-54/108k in 18-34/2.442 million total viewers (10-11:05pm)


FNC: 443k among adults 25-54/70k among 18-34/2.132 million total viewers (10-11pm)


CBS News: 425k among adults 25-54/100k in 18-34/1.985 million total viewers (10-11:13pm)


9-11pm Hours: Full DNC Program Cable News Coverage

CNN dominated cable news during the full Democratic National Convention program in the key demo adults 25-54 and among younger viewers 18-34. CNN topped FNC in total viewers:


CNN was #1 among adults 25-54 with 1.451 million, and 369k among 18-34.  In total viewers, CNN averaged 4.713 million.


MSNBC was second with 991k among adults 25-54 and 209k among 18-34.  In total viewers, MSNBC had 5.010 million.


FNC: was third with 589k adults 25-54/79k 18-34/3.007 million total viewers.


8-11pm Prime Time: Cable News Coverage

 Last night during primetime, CNN ranked #1 in cable news among adults 25-54 with 1.241 million, MSNBC followed with 838k and FNC lagged with 651k.  Among younger viewers 18-34, CNN (306k) had more viewers than MSNBC (170k) and FNC (90k) combined.  In total viewers, CNN had 4.084 million, MSNBC had 4.343 million and FNC was third 3.380 million. 


CNN Digital

On the first day of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, CNN Digital welcomed nearly 31 million unique visitors and more than 9 million video starts across its desktop, mobile and OTT devices. Digital multiplatform unique visitors are up 19% versus the first day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, which is in line with the trend of 2020’s historic levels of user interest.

CNN’s live stream saw 922k total day live starts and 323k 9-11pm convention hour live starts on CNN’s owned platforms (, CNNgo on OTT apps & CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android; CNN’s convention coverage was not live streamed on social properties).

CNN saw 73k users live stream the average minute of the convention programming from 9-11pm (equivalent to the way TV ratings are calculated). Digital average audience was up +28% from the conventions in 2016.

TV plus digital live streaming produced a combined average audience of 4.786 million total viewers. Digital viewing added a +1.5% lift to CNN TV P2+ average audience.


The audio of the convention also streamed on CNN’s channels on SiriusXM, and TuneIn Radio.