MSNBC takes most-watched prize and gains over 2008 while CNN and Fox lose ground
CNN pulled ahead of its cable-news competitors on the final day of the Democratic National Convention, coming out ahead of MSNBC and the Fox News Channel and averaging an overall victory for the entire convention in the key demographic.
CNN's primetime coverage of the convention Thursday night took first place in both the 25-54 demographic most valued by news advertisers and in total viewers, drawing 4.1 million total viewers from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. (note: all numbers are for the primetime hours), and 1.6 million viewers in the demographic.
That put the network ahead of MSNBC, which took ratings wins on the first two nights of the convention, and Fox News Channel. MSNBC took 3.6 million total viewers Thursday night, with 1.3 million of them in the demo, while Fox drew 2.7 million total viewers and 673,000 in the demo.
CNN's third-night victory was enough to bump them into first place in the key demo for the convention overall, with 1.2 million viewers in the demo. That put CNN 5 percent ahead of MSNBC, which averaged 1.1 million viewers in the demo throughout the convention, and 90 percent ahead of Fox, which averaged 619,000 viewers in the demo throughout the convention.
The good news for MSNBC: The network came away from the convention with the highest average for total viewers, with 3.4 million, versus CNN's 3.3 million and Fox's 2.6 million.
MSNBC was also the only network of the three to post gains over the 2008 convention in the primetime hours. MSNBC gained 19 percent over 2008 in the demo and 49 percent in total viewers, while CNN took a 34 percent hit in the demo and a 25 percent slide in total viewers. Fox, meanwhile, slid 26 percent in the demo and 18 percent in total viewers.