CNN Sees Ratings Growth in 3Q 2020

CNN Ratings Report

CNN hit several ratings milestones in 3Q, including quarterly ratings highs, outperforming MSNBC for a record number of quarters and posting double digit audience growth compared to a year ago.

CNN easily outperformed MSNBC in all dayparts – prime time, total day, dayside and weekends – during the third quarter 2020 among adults 25-54. CNN programs led by Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon posted their best 3Q ratings ever.

CNN’s digital platforms also had their best summer ever, making CNN the most watched and most used news and information brand in the world.

In total day, CNN easily beat MSNBC (241k vs. 184k) in the key demographic adults 25-54 ranking #2 for the 26thconsecutive quarter, the longest quarterly streak in 10 years (since 2Q 2010). CNN had its highest total day in total viewers on record (977k).

Compared to a year ago, CNN grew more than FNC or MSNBC in total viewers, increasing its audience by +55%, while Fox was up +28% and MSNBC was +37%. In the key demo adults 25-54, CNN was up an impressive +61% to Fox’s +31% to MSNBC’s +42% in total day vs. last year.

CNN topped MSNBC in M-Su prime time (399k vs. 338k) and in weekday prime (465k vs. 429k) for the third straight quarter. In M-Su prime time, CNN grew more than the others, increasing +45% in total viewers (1.553 million) and +43% among adults 25-54 (399k). In weekday prime time, CNN’s growth was also significant, up +44% in total viewers (1.768 million) and +47% among 25-54 (465k) vs. last year.

During dayside (9a-4p), CNN was #2 in all of cable this quarter among adults 25-54. CNN ranked #1 in cable news every hour from 12pm-4pm, weekdays. CNN has now surpassed MSNBC for the 32nd straight quarter among 25-54 during dayside.

In total viewers, CNN averaged 1.138 million, the network’s second highest dayside delivery since 4Q 2001 (behind only 2Q 2020) and second highest demo delivery (278k) since 2Q 2003. Compared to a year ago, CNN is up +71% in total viewers and an impressive +101% in adults 25-54. FNC was up far less +20%/+26% and MSNBC was up +43%/+62% respectively.

On weekends, CNN outperformed MSNBC every hour on both Saturdays and Sundays in 25-54. In total day, CNN outperformed MSNBC in total viewers (799k vs. 660k) and in the demo (181k vs. 101k) And in weekend prime time, CNN outperformed MSNBC in total viewers (1.016 million vs. 783k) and in the key demo 25-54 (236k vs. 109k).

Among ALL cable networks (not just news), CNN ranked #3 in total day and M-Su/M-F Prime among total viewers, marking the fourth consecutive quarter that CNN is a Top 5 cable news network in total viewers in total day and third straight quarter in total viewers in prime time. 

CNN continues to have the youngest audience in cable news in total day and prime. 

Additionally, CNN reaches the largest average monthly cumulative TV audience (among both total viewers and adults 25-54) of any cable news network 2020 to date.  Across platforms, CNN reaches more total people than any other cable news brand across TV and digital and more people ages 25-54 than any other news brand across TV and digital.