CNN, Fox News Enjoy April Ratings Bumps Thanks to Political Coverage

CNN gains a staggering 111 percent in the prime time demo


CNN and Fox News Channel both had April ratings news to brag about, as CNN finished No. 1 in the key demographic of adults age 25-54, while Fox News Channel finished No. 2 among all cable networks in total viewers during prime time, averaging 1.9 million viewers.

To be sure, Jeff Zucker and Roger Ailes probably wish we elected a new president every year, as coverage of the election has put a spotlight on cable news and given both networks a boost.

CNN was up a staggering 111 percent in the prime time demo compared to April 2015. The network has now edged Fox News four times over the last eight months in that category.

MSNBC, meanwhile, finished No. 15 during prime time and No. 17 among total day viewers.

Despite coming in behind CNN and Fox News in all categories, MSNBC showed significant year-over-year growth, with a 60 percent increase in total viewers. CNN also grew 60 percent and Fox went up 13 percent.

In April, CNN hosted six presidential debates and town halls, and MSNBC also hosted six town halls. Fox News featured a ton of interviews with candidates, but only two official town hall events.

Across all cable networks, TBS finished at No. 1 during prime time among total viewers, followed by Fox News, TNT, HGTV, USA, ESPN, AMC, History and the Discovery Channel. CNN finished the month No. 10, averaging 1.3 million total viewers.

In spite of the heavy political coverage on the other cable news networks in April 2016, HLN also posted solid increases versus April 2015, gaining 9 percent among total viewers. CNN’s sister station finished No. 44 in prime time and No. 32 in total day.

And speaking of sister networks, Fox Business Network finished No. 86 in prime time and No. 76 in total day, while CNBC finished No. 47 and No. 54, respectively.