August 21st, 2020

CNN Beats All Broadcast & Cable Nets Every Night of the DNC in Demos; Tops NBC, ABC, CBS and FNC Each Night in Total Viewers


New Nielsen Data Shows More Viewers Watch CNN in Battleground States

34 Million Unique Visitors for CNN Digital on Day 4 of DNC; Outranked All Competitors


CNN was #1 on all four nights of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), beating the broadcast and cable nets (NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, MSNBC and FNC) in the key demo adults 25-54 and among younger viewers 18-34.  CNN also surpassed NBC, ABC, CBS and FNC on each night of the four-night convention in total viewers.


New Nielsen data shows more viewers watched CNN in battleground states (AZ, FL, GA, MI, NC, OH, PA, WI) than FNC or MSNBC during the 10pm hour.  Across these battleground states, CNN reached 3.41 million total viewers, FNC had 3.35 million and MSNBC had 3.06 million during Nights 1-3 of the DNC.


On the fourth and final night of the DNC, CNN beat all the broadcast and cable nets in adults 25-54 and 18-34 and topped the broadcast nets and FNC in total viewers for the fourth straight night.  CNN’s digital platforms had strong numbers yesterday, as the most watched and most used news and information brand in the world.


Night 4/10pm:  Broadcast and Cable News coverage / Presidential Nominee Joe Biden

CNN:  1.690 million among adults 25-54, 408k among 18-34 and 5.565 million total viewers (10-11:15pm) 

MSNBC: 1.247 million adults 25-54/277k in 18-34/6.146 million total viewers (10-11:15pm)

NBC News:  568k among adults 25-54/92k among 18-34/2.154 million total viewers (10-11:20pm)

ABC News: 799k adults 25-54/111k in 18-34/2.972 million total viewers (10-11:23pm)

CBS News: 473k among adults 25-54/146k in 18-34/1.985 million total viewers (10-11:24pm)

FNC: 639k among adults 25-54/174k among 18-34/2.955 million total viewers (10-11:15pm)


Night 4/9-11pm: Full DNC Program Cable News Coverage

CNN was #1 among adults 25-54 with 1.472 million and 352k among 18-34.  In total viewers, CNN averaged 5.105 million.

MSNBC was second with 1.175 million among adults 25-54 and 248k among 18-34.  In total viewers, MSNBC had 5.912 million.

FNC: was third with 744k adults 25-54/180k 18-34/3.761 million total viewers.


Night 4/8-11pm Prime Time: Cable News Coverage

Last night during primetime, CNN ranked #1 in cable news among adults 25-54 with 1.189 million, MSNBC followed with 985k and FNC lagged with 748k.  Among younger viewers 18-34, CNN averaged 269k, MSNBC posted 210k and FNC had 170k.   In total viewers, CNN had 4.232 million, MSNBC had 5.154 million and FNC was third 3.935 million. 


Other Highlights

CNN reached more viewers among both total viewers (12.7 million) and adults 25-54 (4.0 million) than any cable news network during the first three days of the DNC during the showcase 10pm hour. MSNBC followed with 11.7m/2.6m and FNC averaged 11.3m/2.6m respectively.

On Night 1 of the DNC, Out-Of-Home viewers provided CNN with a +3% lift among adults 25-54 (+43k) and among total viewers (+130k) during the convention programming block (9-11pm), for a total of 1.498m and 4.851 million, combined in-home and OOH adults 25-54 and total viewers respectively.


CNN Digital

CNN Digital saw 34 million unique visitors and 14 million video starts across its desktop, mobile and OTT devices on Day 4 of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Digital multiplatform unique visitors are up 50% versus Day 4 of the 2016 DNC. Throughout the 2020 DNC Convention, CNN Digital reached 88 million unique visitors and generated 48 million video starts, which was an increase of 42% over the 2016 DNC Convention for digital multiplatform unique visitors.

Competitively, CNN was the #1 digital news source on Day 3 of the 2020 DNC after outranking all other publishers on Day 1 and Day 2. CNN surpassed #2 BBC by 10 million visits on Day 3 and averaged a lead of 9 million over #2 BBC, 12 million over #3 Fox News and 23 million over #15 MSNBC in Days 1-3. CNN also outranked all key competitors in total day visits across all three days of the convention with a sum of 72 million versus BBC’s 44 million (Day 1-3 data is the most current available for daily digital competitive rankings, which is published by SimilarWeb).

CNN’s live stream saw 833k total day live starts and 247k 9-11pm convention 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). The live stream peaked at 105k during Vice President Biden’s speech at 11p.m.

CNN saw 70k 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 18% from Day 4 of the conventions in 2016.

TV plus digital live streaming produced a combined average audience of 5.175 million total viewers. Digital viewing added a 1.4% lift to CNN TV P2+ average audience.

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