Q1 2008 Ratings: CNN First in Prime Time Demo

By SteveK 

As TVNewser first reported Friday, CNN did in fact win the ad-friendly A25-54 demo in prime time for the first quarter. It’s the first time that’s happened in six years. Year-over-year, CNN grew 27% in Total Viewers and 23% in the A25-54 demo (total day).

Anderson Cooper 360 at 10pmET posted its first ever quarterly win in the A25-54 demo. AC360 increased 60% in the demo compared to last year.

CNN also won the 9pmET and 10pmET in the A25-54 demo in the first quarter 2008.

Click continued to see the release…


For the first time in six years, CNN is the #1 cable news network in prime time (M-Su), winning the first quarter 2008 in the crucial P25-54 demographic, and among the younger demos 18-34 and 18-49. For the quarter, CNN programming resulted in an impressive 87% increase in the P25-54 demographic versus the same period last year (444,000 vs. 238,000), while FOX News grew only 10% (430,000 vs. 390,000), and MSNBC increased 66% (325,000 vs. 196,000). Among younger viewers 18-34, CNN also grew significantly and was top-rated with 141,000 viewers, a whopping 135% advantage vs. last quarter’s 60,000 viewers. In the 18-49 demographic, CNN outperformed the competition with 380,000 viewers, 91% more than the same period last year.

CNN also continues to deliver the most growth of any cable news network this quarter vs. a year ago in both total day and prime time. In total day, CNN grew 27% among total viewers and increased 23% in P25-54 this quarter compared to the first quarter 2007, while MSNBC grew 21% and 20% and FOX News increased only 11% in P2+ and was flat in the P25-54 demographic. In prime time, CNN is up a staggering 64% in total viewers and +87% in the key 25-54 demo compared to Q1 2007, while MSNBC’s growth trails CNN with a 57% increase in total viewers and 66% in P25-54. FNC gained only 13% in P2+ and grew just 10% in P25-54 in prime. (Q1 2008 vs. Q1 2007 sheet attached).

Anderson Cooper 360 also had a ratings milestone at 10:00 pm, with the program posting its first quarterly win ever. Outperforming the competition, AC 360 was #1 in P25-54 during the first quarter, delivering 456,000 viewers, a 60% increase over last year, while FNC’s On the Record posted 397,000 viewers, down -2% from a year ago. Anderson Cooper 360 also swept the competition among younger viewers, delivering 141,000 viewers in P18-34, up 114% compared to Q1 2007, while On the Record posted only 87,000 viewers, increasing 26%. In the P18-49 demo, Anderson Cooper 360 ranked #1 with 390,000 viewers, up 65%, while On the Record posted 304,000, up only 2%. During the month of February 2008, AC 360 posted its highest total viewer and demo deliveries ever.

CNN also won the weekday 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm time periods during the first quarter 2008 among P25-54. At 9:00 pm, CNN was the cable news leader with 585,000 viewers, FNC placed second with 510,000 and MSNBC was third with 323,000. At 10:00 pm, CNN ranked first with 502,000 viewers, FOX News followed with 452,000 and MSNBC trailed 357,000. During the 8:00 time period, CNN was the fasting growing cable news net, increasing 145% compared to a year ago, while FNC is up only 9% and MSNBC grew by 53% among P25-54.

Headline News had its best quarter in five years among P2+ in total day. Glenn Beck at 7:00 pm and Nancy Grace at 8:00 pm each posted record quarters, with Beck delivering its best quarter in total viewers with 355,000 and Grace posting its best quarter in P25-54 with 242,000.

CNN continues to reach more viewers than any other cable news network in Q1 2008, with an average monthly P2+ cumulative audience of 72,483,000, MSNBC 58,812,000, FNC 57,447,000 and HLN 55,524,000. In 25-54 cumulative audience, CNN posted 33,244,000, followed by MSNBC 28,385,000, HLN 25,861,000 and FNC 24,515,000 on average in Q1.

CNN’s Digital Network had more page views than any other news and information site, averaging 1.7 billion Jan – Feb, 70% more than the closest competitors Wikipedia and MSNBC (1.0 billion each). In addition, CNN digital averaged 36.4 million unique visitors Jan-Feb, more than any other site in Nielsen Online’s Current Events and Global News subcategory, beating #2 Yahoo!News (35.7 million). People spend more time on the CNN Digital Network than any other news and information website, averaging 1.49 million minutes during Jan.-Feb., 44% more than MSNBC’s average of 1.04 million. Wikipedia placed third averaging 1.01 million and Fox News Digital Network was way behind placing 9th with 448,000. Full quarterly data for digital will be available later this month.

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