April 29th, 2021

CNN is #1 in Cable News During President Biden’s Address to the Joint Session of Congress; Tops MSNBC and FNC in Demos

CNN also Surpasses CBS and Fox Broadcast Networks in Adults 25-54 and Younger Viewers  

CNN Easily Beats FNC and Fox Broadcast in Total Viewers

Nearly 30 Million Turn to CNN Digital


CNN was #1 in cable news during President Biden’s Address to the Joint Session of Congress among the demos adults 25-54 and younger viewers (18-34). The network was also most-watched in cable news during the Republican response (10:30-10:45) and post coverage (10:45-midnight) in the same key demos.  During the Address, CNN surpassed CBS and the Fox broadcast network in the key demos (25-54 and 18-34) as well.  In total viewers, CNN easily beat FNC and Fox broadcast.


During the GOP response (10:30-10:45pm), CNN was #1 in cable news among adults 25-54 (623k), Fox was second with 547k and MSNBC trailed with 434k. In younger viewers (18-34), CNN (110k) was top rated, followed by FNC (101k) and MSNBC (51k).


During the post Address coverage (10:45pm-12:00am), CNN was #1 in cable news among both adults 25-54 (377k) and younger viewers (79k). The network was ahead by double digits vs. Fox News (+10%/+72%) and MSNBC (+18%/+99%) in both demos.  In the 9-10pm hour, CNN registered the youngest median age across cable news, six years younger than Fox and seven years younger than MSNBC.


CNN’s coverage (9-10:15pm) saw an average audience of 108k users live streaming the average minute of coverage (equivalent to the way TV ratings are calculated). TV plus digital live streaming produced a combined average audience of 3.288 million total viewers. Digital viewing added a +3.4% lift to CNN TV P2+ average audience.


CNN’s digital platforms saw 29 million unique visitors on Wednesday, which surpassed President Trump’s First Address to Congress in 2017. The live stream peaked at 186k at 9:52pm, which surpassed the peaks for Trump’s last two State of the Union Addresses (103k in 2020 and 180k in 2019).


CNN’s television coverage was anchored by Dana Bash, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Abby Phillip and Jake Tapper.