January 7th, 2021

Yesterday was CNN’s Most-Watched Day in History

CNN Dominated Broadcast and Cable News Coverage During the Capitol Insurrection

Outperformed Fox and MSNBC Combined in Demos



Yesterday’s coverage of the insurrection by a pro-Trump mob at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was CNN’s most-watched day in the network’s history with 5.221 million total viewers tuning in.  CNN outperformed the other cable news networks (MSNBC and FNC) in Total Day and prime time (8-11pm) in total viewers and topped them in the key demo adults 25-54 combined.  CNN also dominated the broadcast networks (when they were on the air with news coverage) and cable news during the day (2:30-6:30) and prime coverage in both total viewers, adults 25-54 and younger viewers 18-34.


Compared to Cable News yesterday:

Compared to the Broadcast Nets (when they were on the air with news) and Cable News:

(Note NBC aired coverage but did not submit a program lineup to Nielsen so Fast National Data is unavailable.)






CNN Digital

CNN Digital had its 5th biggest day ever for cross-platform global unique visitors with 72 million turning to CNN yesterday to see, read, and watch the events from the U.S. Capitol unfold. January 6 surpassed the 2020 Presidential Election Day by 5.4 million unique visitors and only trailed days of the week when the 2020 Election results were being finalized. CNN Digital’s live stories also saw the 3rd largest day in history with 20 million total day unique visitors.

At 3:05pm ET on Jan. 6th, CNN dropped cable authentication (the requirement to log-in to a cable provider to watch linear coverage online). The live viewing peaked at 1.8 million unique viewers at 4:15pm ET, surpassing the peak 2020 U.S. Election levels by nearly 700k, making the day the 5th largest in CNN Digital history for peak concurrent live streaming.

CNN’s coverage of the Capitol Insurrection (2:30-6:30pm) saw an average audience of 532k users live streaming the average minute (equivalent to the way TV ratings are calculated). TV plus digital live streaming produced a combined average audience of 9.497 million total viewers. Digital viewing added a 5.9% lift to CNN TV P2+ average audience.



CNN was #1 in cable news during Georgia Senate runoff election programming on Tuesday (1/5) throughout the full coverage block (7pm-3am) as well as during total day (6am-6am) and prime time (8-11pm); MSNBC was second and FNC was last in the key demo adults 25-54.  During the full coverage block CNN averaged 1.204 million to MSNBC’s 966k to FNC’s 613k among 25-54.  In total day, CNN had 666k to MSNBC’s 491k and FNC’s 357k and in primetime, CNN attracted 1.398 million, while MSNBC was second with 1.153 million and FNC was third with 876kamong 25-54.  CNN also easily topped FNC during full the full coverage block (3.212m vs. 2.852m) and in total day (2.116m vs. 1.850m) in total viewers during the Georgia Senate Runoff programming.



SINCE THE ELECTION (Nov. 4 – Jan. 6, 2021)

Since the election Nov. 4 – Jan. 6) CNN continues to rank #1 among ALL cable networks (not just news) in both Total Day and daytime among total viewers and adults 25-54. CNN also continues to rank as the #1 cable news network following the election in both total viewers and the demo.  In total viewers, CNN has averaged 1.557 million total viewers, outperforming FNC’s 1.434 million and MSNBC’s 1.415 million.  And among adults 25-54, CNN has been #1 for 64 straight days averaging 434k, the longest winning streak in 21 years. FNC trails with 259k and MSNBC follows with 244k in the key demo 25-54 since the election.