How CNN Beat Fox News, MSNBC In Key News Demo

Breaking news and politics helped CNN score a win last week

Breaking news and politics — CNN’s specialties — helped the network beat both Fox News and MSNBC in the key news demo of adults age 25-54 last week, when Monday’s presidential debate boosted all three cable news networks.

CNN averaged 327,000 total-day viewers in the demo and 800,000 primetime demo viewers to win both categories for the week of Sept 26. CNN nearly doubled MSNBC’s primetime demo viewership of 437,000.

Fox News typically dominates nights filled with standard programming, so CNN’s recent demo success is especially noteworthy.

Donald Trump might not enjoy CNN’s debate coverage, but viewers flock to the network for breaking news and political coverage. CNN beat Fox and MSNBC among the demo during recent breaking news including the New York City explosion, primary voting contests, White House Correspondents’ Dinner and a busy week of election events last April.

During the Democratic National Convention, CNN was the No. 1 cable channel in Monday-Sunday primetime and Monday-Friday prime, in terms of both total viewers and the key 25-54 news demo.To be clear: We’re not talking about just cable news — this achievement included all of cable, even sports.

CNN also topped all of cable during a busy news week in March that included Super Tuesday No. 2, a Democratic Debate, a GOP Debate, and a Democratic Town Hall.

Last week was the fifth time this year that CNN won the week in cable news across both total day and the primetime demo. The last time that CNN saw this many weekly wins in the same year among the demo was nearly eight years ago, during the week of Nov 3, 2008. Before that, it was nearly 15 years ago, back in November 2001.

If you recall, 2008 was also an election year, and November 2001 followed the Sept. 11 attacks and U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. CNN should expect another big ratings week, as the next presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 9, co-moderated by Anderson Cooper.