In recent years, CNN has become accustomed to sitting in third place behind Fox News and MSNBC in the prime-time ratings race. But that has changed in recent months. The network’s breaking news coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, both in dayside and prime-time hours, has attracted scores of adults 25-54—the age demographic that still matters most to TV news advertisers.
CNN pulled ahead of MSNBC in the prime-time demo this past month, and has gotten off to a hot start in the month of June. The network’s wall-to-wall live coverage of the George Floyd police murder protests has attracted millions of Americans on a nightly basis. In fact, CNN has defeated ratings titan Fox News in the key A25-54 demo on six consecutive days, May 29-June 3, both in total day and in prime time.
That might seem like a minor achievement in the grand scheme of things, but it isn’t. In fact, CNN hasn’t defeated both MSNBC and Fox News in the ad-friendly demo on at least six straight nights since the time period of Oct. 5, 2001 through Oct. 18, 2001.
Yes, that’s 2001; 18 1/2 years ago.
Will the streak soon be broken and Fox News return to ruling prime time among A25-54? Yes, it could conceivably end tomorrow. Plus, FNC still hasn’t even given up the title of “most-watched cable news network.” However, this is a solid run for CNN and its recent dominance in the demo is certainly worth highlighting.
Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers in prime time (8-11 p.m. ET):
Wednesday, June 3:
Tuesday, June 2:
Monday, June 1:
Sunday, May 31:
Saturday, May 30:
Friday, May 29: