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Fox News and MSNBC Get a Ratings Bump on Primary Night While CNN Viewership Drops

Fox News brought in the highest total number of viewers interested in New Hampshire primary results Tuesday night

Fox News scored the highest number of viewers in primetime Tuesday night as audiences tuned in to find out which Democratic presidential candidate won the New Hampshire primary. Fox News and MSNBC both saw an increase in their totals from the night of the Iowa caucuses, while CNN saw their numbers decline. CNN still beat MSNBC in the advertiser-coveted age demographic of 25-54.

From 8 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET, Fox News had 4.436 million total average viewers, according to early Nielsen data. Of those, 784,000 were in the key 25-54 demographic.

Just like last week when results were supposed to come in for the first contest, CNN beat MSNBC in the key demo, but fell behind MSNBC in total viewers.

MSNBC had 2.616 million average total viewers between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. with 577,000 in the demo. CNN brought in 1.641 million total average viewers, but 596,000 were between 25-54.

Those watching Tuesday night were able to glean the big takeaway: Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont won the second major contest in the election cycle. Last Monday, millions tuned into cable news for Iowa caucus results and ended up getting reports that, well, there were no caucus results. Of those millions, the majority tuned into Fox News, though CNN also remained particularly competitive in the advertiser-coveted age demographic of 25-54.

This week, Fox News brought in even more viewers than last week, when 4.249 million tuned in to find out what had happened in Iowa. There were 793,000 viewers in the demo for caucus results last week, meaning this week’s demo number for Fox News declined.

For Iowa results, MSNBC brought in the second-highest number of total average viewers for primetime, with 2.530 million. That means MSNBC saw an increase in total viewers for New Hampshire results, too. With 612,000 in the demo last week, MSNBC also saw a demo decline after New Hampshire.

CNN brought in 1.764 million average viewers looking for Iowa results, making it the only network to have a decline in total average viewers in primetime after New Hampshire. CNN had 702,000 viewers between 25-54 for last week’s results, which is higher than this week’s demo total, as well.