April 2016 Ratings: CNN Is No. 1 in Prime Time Demo on Cable News

By A.J. Katz 

CNN continued to be a prime time powerhouse in April, particularly in the adults 25-54 demographic. From prime time debates and town halls to breaking news, talkers, original series and specials, the network seemed to have the ingredients necessary to cook up strong prime time ratings in April.

CNN ranked No. 1 in cable news with adults 25-54, averaging 381,000 live + same day viewers during the prime time daypart (Monday-Sunday, 8 – 11 p.m.). This is the fourth time in the past eight months that CNN has won the demo in prime time.

The average live + same day impressions for April 2015:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 1,125,000 Total Viewers / 372,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 636,000 Total Viewers / 194,000 A25-54

The story is even more interesting if we move outside of the cable news bubble. In April, CNN experienced the strongest year-over-year growth of any network (cable or broadcast) in both total viewers and adults 25-54 during prime time: +125 percent in total viewers (1.14 mil vs. 507,000) and +105 percent in the news demo (381,000 vs. 186,000) from April 2015.

CNN ranked No. 7 in total viewers during the weekday prime time daypart.

In Total Day, CNN was also up from April 2015, increasing by 59 percent in total viewers (639,000 vs. 401,000) and up 48 percent in the news demo (196,000 vs. 132,000).

Here’s the CNN release:



CNN Posts Triple Digit Growth in Prime Time; Most in TV

Narrows Gap with Fox News in Total Day to Smallest in Over Seven Years

CNN also #1 on Weekends

CNN ranked #1 in cable news in prime time in April. CNN beat Fox News for the fifth time in the last eight months in M-Su prime time (four of the past eight in M-F prime) among adults 25-54. The last time CNN had this many prime time wins in an eight-month period versus Fox News was over 14 years ago (Nov. 2001). CNN also handily topped MSNBC this month in all dayparts, with CNN besting MSNBC for the 22nd straight month in Total Day (among both total viewers and among adults 25-54) and in prime time (among 25-54). In total viewers, CNN has now beaten MSNBC for the fifth straight month (or seven out of eight months) in prime time. CNN continued to top MSNBC by wide margins during the day (9am-4pm) – posting a +36% advantage in total viewers (630k vs. MSNBC’s 464k) and +58% more among adults 25-54 (161k vs. 102k).

In April, CNN had the most growth of any television network (cable or broadcast) among both total viewers and adults 25-54, increasing triple digits in prime time. Among ALL cable networks in April, CNN ranked #7 in total viewers in M-F prime time. In Total Day, CNN was also up vs. last year, increasing +59% in total viewers and +48% among adults 25-54.

Of particular note, CNN has narrowed the gap with Fox News (196k vs. Fox News’ 215k) to its smallest level (-9%) in over seven years (since October, 2008) in Today Day among adults 25-54. CNN beat Fox News in prime time this month among adults 25-54.

*Please note that the Nielsen data shown in the above release is blended.