State of the Union Cable Ratings: Fox Wins, MSNBC Tops CNN

MSNBC gets its first win over CNN ever during the presidential address. It’s the only network to improve on last year’s numbers

In the ongoing battle between CNN and MSNBC for second place in the cable news world, MSNBC scored another victory with its ratings for Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

For the first time in its history, the Phil Griffin-helmed network beat CNN in total viewers for the presidential address, drawing 2.82 million viewers to CNN’s 2.67 million. Fox News led all cable channels with 3.81 million viewers (and 1.14 in the adults 25-54 demo).

While CNN still beat MSNBC in the demo (1.05 million to 818,000), the gap is narrower than it was for last year’s address when CNN drew 1.2 million in the ad-friendly age bracket.

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MSNBC was the only network to improve upon its ratings from last year as Fox News dipped by more than a million and CNN more than 300,000 total viewers.

As was the case last year, Fox actually increased its viewership for the post-speech analysis and the Republican response, topping 4 million viewers for most of the 10 p.m. hour.