Fox News Is Most-Watched, CNN Wins Demo on Super Tuesday

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News and CNN split 2020 Super Tuesday ratings honors.

FNC was the most-watched network for live prime time coverage of the festivities, averaging nearly 4.2 million total viewers in the daypart. That’s the second-largest audience total for a Super Tuesday ever.

CNN, on the other hand, eclipsed the 1 million A25-54 viewers mark, averaging 1.1 million in prime time.


MSNBC was the second-most-watched network across broadcast and cable in prime time, while NBC was the No. 2-ranked network in the A25-54 demo. NBC was No. 1 on broadcast overall.

According to the preliminary Nielsen data shown below, 19.1 million total viewers and 5.4 million demo viewers watched prime time TV coverage across 6 English language networks. That number will certainly be adjusted as additional data rolls in later today.

One also has to consider people watching on PBS, C-SPAN, CNNI, Univision, Telemundo, Bloomberg and on digital; meaning the total prime time audience will be more than 20 million.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Super Tuesday Prime Time Coverage 
Network Total Viewers (000) A25-54 Viewers (000)
ABC 2,719,000 (#5) 805,000 (#5)
CBS 2,642,000 (#6) 640,000 (#6)
CNN 2,795,000 (#4) 1,093,000 (#1)
Fox News 4,172,000 (#1) 932,000 (#3)
MSNBC 3,818,000 (#2) 910,000 (#4)
NBC 2,940,000 (#3) 983,000 (#2)

*Preliminary Nielsen live-plus-same-day data for March 3, 2020.

Additionally, for the second consecutive election, NBC was the top broadcast network overall for Super Tuesday coverage in prime time.

The network averaged 2.9 million total viewers, +8% more than ABC (+221,000) and +11% more than CBS (+298,000). NBC also topped its broadcast competition in the key A25-54 demo, hauling in 983,000 viewers. That’s a +22% advantage over ABC (+178,000) and a +54% advantage over CBS (+343,000).

Despite finishing last, CBS did deliver 3.24 million viewers in the 8 p.m. hour, ahead of ABC and CNN. However, viewership plummeted after that.

Tuesday, March 3

 Super Tuesday Prime Time Broadcast News Coverage 
Network Total Viewers (000) A25-54 Viewers (000)
ABC 2,719,000 (#2) 805,000 (#2)
CBS 2,642,000 (#3) 640,000 (#3)
NBC 2,940,000 (#1) 983,000 (#1)


THURSDAY UPDATE: Unlike the English language broadcasters, Univision and Telemundo presented one hour of live Super Tuesday coverage, 10-11 p.m. ET.

In the 10 p.m. ET hour alone, Univision averaged 1.3 million Total Viewers, and 593,000 Adults 25-54. That’s +84% in Total Viewers and +62% in the demo vs. what Telemundo drew in the hour (710,000 Total / 370,000 A25-54).

In fact, Univision’s A25-54 demo delivery at 10 p.m. (593,000) is more than what CBS delivered in the demo that hour.

Additionally, with a median age of 48, Univision’s coverage was 13 years younger than the combined median age of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.