Cable News Ratings: CNN Has Lowest-Rated Week of 2021 for Total Day and Primetime

MSNBC also has smallest total day audience for the week of March 15


CNN had its lowest-rated week of 2021 last week for both total day and primetime viewers across the board.

For the week of March 15, CNN had just over 1.1 million average viewers during primetime and 269,000 in the key demo; for total day, the cable news network had 755,000 total viewers and 180,000 in the key demo. Compared to the same week last year, CNN dropped about 64% in the key demo during primetime and about 47% in total primetime viewers. For total day, the network dropped about 50% in total day viewers and 65% in the key demo compared to last year.

With an average of 997,000 viewers for the week of March 15, MSNBC also received its smallest total day audience of the year. MSNBC outperformed CNN in total day and primetime viewers but fell behind CNN in the key demo for both primetime and total day viewers.

Fox News emerged as the top cable news network for total day and primetime in both the key demo and total viewers for the week of March 15. During primetime, Fox News averaged just under 2.3 million total viewers and 351,000 in the key demo, while MSNBC had 1.7 million total viewers and 225,000 in the key demo and CNN had 1.1 million total viewers and 269,000 in the key demo.

Fox News, MSNBC and CNN have all experienced declines in ratings since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, President Joe Biden’s inauguration and the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

The week of the insurrection, CNN averaged 2.130 million total viewers, MSNBC averaged 1.249 million and Fox News averaged 1.164 million in total-day viewership. The week of Biden’s inauguration, CNN averaged 1.144 million total viewers, Fox News averaged 1.114 million and MSNBC averaged 920,000.

The week of Trump’s impeachment, CNN brought in an average of 1.467 million viewers, while Fox News had an average of 1.356 million and MSNBC received an average of 1.336 million.


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