July 2017 Ratings: CNN Is a Top 10 Cable Network

By A.J. Katz 

It was a wild month in U.S. politics, and CNN had a tough time keeping up with the competition from a ratings perspective.

For July 2017, CNN was -48 percent in total prime time viewers, -29 percent in total day viewers, -48 in the prime-time demo, and -28 percent in the total day demo versus July 2016.

July 2016 was a month when the network finished No. 1 in the prime-time demo, due to highly-rated presentations of the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions, terrorist attacks in Nice and a police officer shooting in Dallas.


On a brighter note, CNN was a top 10 basic cable network this past week. It finished as the No. 8 network in weekday prime, and No. 8 in total day, 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. It also defeated MSNBC in total day among adults 25-54 for a whopping 37th consecutive month.

Year to date, 2017 is on pace to be CNN’s best year on record in total day viewers, and its best year in the total day demo since 2003 during the Iraq War.

The ratings for July 2016:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun):   892,000 Total Viewers /  296,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun):   674,000 Total Viewers /  216,000 A25-54

Anderson Cooper 360 was the network’s No. 1 program of the month in total viewers, followed by CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, Erin Burnett Outfront, The Lead with Jake Tapper, and Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, in that order.

AC 360 was also the network’s top show in the prime time demo, followed in the category by CNN Tonight, Erin Burnett Outfront, The Situation Room and The Lead.

The network’s weekend prime time programming stood out as well, among adults 25-54, thanks to CNN Original Series (The Nineties, The History of Comedy and Declassified).


Here’s CNN’s release:


Beats MSNBC for 37th Straight Month

2017 Pacing to be CNN’s Highest on Record in Total Day and Second Highest since 2008 in Primetime

CNN was the #2 cable news network in Total Day in July, beating MSNBC for the 37th consecutive month in the demo adults 25-54. That is CNN’s longest winning streak over MSNBC in more than seven years (dating back to January 2010).

CNN also beat MSNBC in daytime, with a 22% advantage. That is the 41st consecutive month that CNN has beaten MSNBC in daytime among adults 25-54.

In addition, CNN was the #1 network in cable news in weekend prime time (8-11 pm) among adults 25-54, largely on the strength of its CNN Original Series (The Nineties, The History of Comedy and Declassified).

Fox News in July posted its lowest monthly share of the Total Day cable news audience among total viewers in six years.

Year to date, 2017 is pacing to be CNN’s highest on record in Total Day among total viewers and highest among 25-54 since 2003. 2017 is also pacing to be CNN’s second largest audience since 2008 in primetime among 25-54 and total viewers.

Vs. Last July 2016:

For context, CNN had an unprecedented ratings lift and posted record high viewership leading up to, and throughout two big special events last July: the Republican National Convention (7/18/16-7/21/16) and the Democratic National Convention (7/25/16-7/28/16) a year ago.

Specifically during the conventions, CNN ranked #1 among all cable networks during the week of the DNC and #2 during the RNC in M-Su/M-F Prime among both adults 25-54 and total viewers. MSNBC lagged far behind CNN and Fox News.

Median Age:

Year-to-date, CNN continues to attract an audience that is five years younger than Fox News and MSNBC in total day, and seven years younger than Fox News and five years younger than MSNBC in prime time. CNN is tracking at its youngest yearly median age since 2008 in Total Day, while MSNBC is at its oldest on record.

Median Age 2017 Year-To-Date (thru 7/30/17)

Total Day (M-Su 6a-6a)
CNN – 60
FXNC – 65
MSNBC – 65

M-Su Prime (8p-11p)
CNN – 59
FXNC – 66
MSNBC – 64

CNN Original Series:

• CNN’s The Nineties season-to-date (7/9-7/30/17): Is tracking ahead of the season averages for the other three decade series (The Eighties, The Seventies and The Sixties) among both adults 25-54 and total viewers. Overall and with every episode-to-date, The Nineties ranks #1 among 25-54 across cable news in its time period, outperforming the combined delivery of Fox News and MSNBC.
• CNN’s The History of Comedy Season 1-to-date (2/9-7/30/17): Ranks #1 among 25-54 across cable news in its time period. Versus the launch-to-date prior four time period average, The History of Comedy is posting the largest growth across cable news in the hour among both 25-54 and total viewers.
• CNN’s Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies Season 2-to-date (7/22-7/29/17): Overall and with each episode to-date this season, ranks #1 among 25-54 across cable news in its time period. The program is tracking above its Season 1 performance by double-digit percentages among both 25-54 and total viewers.