In Q1 2018, CNN was a top-10 basic cable network in total day viewers (No. 8), and has finished in the total day top 10 for 7 consecutive quarters.
That said, CNN finished outside of the top 10 in prime time, and was No. 3 in cable news during prime time. Per Nielsen live+same-day data, CNN was down double digits from Q1 2017 in total prime time audience (-17 percent), and also down double digits in total day viewing. Q1 2017 happened to be CNN’s most-watched Q1 since the lead up to the Iraq War in 2003.
CNN defeated rival MSNBC in non-prime time dayparts among younger news viewers, including the key A25-54 demo this past quarter. CNN out-performed MSNBC in the demos across total day, the daytime daypart (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.), and on weekends. But it once again trailed MSNBC in total viewers across the multiple dayparts.
Here are CNN’s final live + same day impressions from Q1 2018:
- Prime time (Mon-Sun): 985,000 total viewers / 341,000 A25-54
- Total Day (Mon-Sun): 713,000 total viewers / 232,000 A25-54
CNN’s morning show New Day with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota had its best quarter ever among adults 25-54. The program also managed to post quarter-over-quarter growth, both among total viewers (+4 percent) and the key A25-54 demo (+6 percent). Ironically, Cuomo will be departing the CNN morning show, and hosting the network’s 9 p.m. hour in the near future. John Berman will eventually take his place.
Erin Burnett had a strong quarter in her own right. OutFront defeated 7 p.m. competitor MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews in the A25-54 demo for the 14th out of the past 15 quarters.
OutFront, AC360 and CNN Tonight all posted their second-largest Q1 A25-54 demo audiences on-record.
The Lead with Jake Tapper, and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer also beat their MSNBC timeslot competition in the demo.
On weekends – The Van Jones Show was No. 1 in its timeslot this past quarter among adults 25-54, beating both MSNBC and Fox News in the category. Additionally, the CNN original series American Dynasties: The Kennedys is winning the Sunday, 9 p.m. timeslot across the board since its premiere on March 11, 2018.
Here’s more from CNN’s press release:
CNN BEATS MSNBC FOR 16th STRAIGHT QUARTER IN KEY DEMO
New Day Has Best First Quarter Ever
Tapper, Blitzer and Burnett Top MSNBC among Adults 25-54
AC360 and CNN Tonight Have Second-Best 1Q Ever
CNN Original Series The Kennedys and Pope are #1
The Lead with Jake Tapper and Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter Rank #1 in Cable News in March
FIRST QUARTER 2018:
Despite record high viewership during President Trump’s first three months in office a year ago, CNN had its second-best first quarter among adults 25-54 and third-highest among total viewers in nine years (since 2009) in total day. The network had its second-best first quarter dayside performance in nine years (since 2009) in both adults 25-54 and total viewers. And in prime time, its third-best first quarter since 2008 among 25-54.
With the first quarter 2018 ending on Sunday, CNN once again surpassed MSNBC in total day, daytime and weekends among adults 25-54 this quarter. CNN has now outperformed MSNBC for 16 straight quarters in total day in the key demographic 25-54 (234k vs. 223k), the longest quarterly streak since 2Q 2010.
Every hour of CNN’s daytime programming (9am-4pm) topped MSNBC’s dayside’s programming this quarter among adults 25-54. During the day, CNN had a +19% advantage over MSNBC in the key demographic adults 25-54 (228k vs. 191k), with CNN now outperforming MSNBC for 22 straight quarters in this important daypart.
CNN also easily outperformed MSNBC during weekend programming among adults 25-54 in both total day (198k vs. MSNBC’s 138k) and prime time (218k vs. MSNBC’s 130k) this quarter. On Saturdays, CNN delivered higher demo audiences than MSNBC for 22 out of 24 hours and on Sundays, beat MSNBC all 24 hours among adults 25-54. CNN ranked #1 in cable news among adults 25-54 on Saturdays at 1pm, 3pm and 4pm and on Sundays, every hour from 12-2pm, 3-7pm, 9pm-12am and 4am hours during the first quarter 2018.
Among ALL cable networks, CNN ranked #8 in total viewers in total day this quarter. This marks the seventh straight quarter and longest quarterly streak in over 22 years (since 4Q 1995) that CNN is a Top 10 cable network among total viewers in total day.
First Quarter Program Highlights:
New Day with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota had its best first quarter ever among adults 25-54 (217k) and total viewers (610k) and the network’s second best 1Q delivery 6-9am time period performance since 2003 in both demos. New Day was up +6% in adults 25-54 and +4% in total viewers vs. last year.
Erin Burnett Outfront (7pm) topped MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews for 14 of the last 15 quarters among adults 25-54 (359k vs. 356k). EBOF had its second-best 1Q delivery on record. Anderson Cooper 360 (8pm) is also having its second-best 1Q delivery ever in both 25-54 (394k) and total viewers (1.168 million) and is CNN’s top-rated prime time program. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon (10pm) had its second-best 1Q on record in adults 25-54 (373k) and total viewers (1.007 million).
The Lead with Jake Tapper had its second-best first quarter ever in both 25-54 (259k) and total viewers (948k). The Tapper-led program easily topped MSNBC in the demo (259k vs. 242k), now beating MSNBC every quarter since the program’s launch. The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer topped MSNBC during the 5pm (279k vs. 254k) and 6pm (306k vs. 289k) hours for the 15th straight quarter, the longest quarterly streak in years.
Other key CNN programs such as Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs, Smerconish, State of the Union with Jake Tapper at 9am (#1 at Noon), Inside Politics with John King, Fareed Zakaria GPS at 10am (#1 at 1pm) and Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter all easily surpassed MSNBC this quarter, ranking #2 in cable news and posting higher demo 25-54 audiences.
The Van Jones Show ranked #1 in cable news for the quarter in the demo adults 25-54 and #2 among total viewers and The Axe Files with David Axelrod ranked #2 in cable news for the quarter in the Saturday 7-8pm time period.
First Quarter CNN Original Series and Films Highlights:
• American Dynasties: The Kennedys averaged 529k among 25-54 and 2.005 million total viewers launch-to-date (Sundays 9pm, 3/11-4/1/18). The docuseries ranks #1 in both adults 25-54 and total viewers across cable news in its time period, outperforming the combined delivery of the competition in both demos. The Kennedys is CNN’s most-watched Original Series among total viewers and third most-watched among 25-54 (behind The Nineties and History of Comedy).
• Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History averaged 366k in adults 25-54 and 1.330 million total viewers launch-to-date (Sundays 10pm, 3/11-4/1/18). The series ranks #1 in both 25-54 and total viewers across cable news in its time period, also outperforming the combined demo delivery of Fox News and MSNBC.
• Christiane Amanpour: Sex & Love Around the World averaged 189k among adults 25-54 and 701k in total viewers over its three Saturday night 10p premiere episodes-to-date (3/17-3/31/18). Across cable news in its time period, the show ranks #2 among 25-54, outperforming MSNBC. Versus the prior four Saturday night time period average, Amanpour is up +20% in 25-54 and posted the largest growth in cable news among total viewers (+33%; 527k).
• The Radical Story of Patty Hearst averaged 315k among 25-54 and 945k in total viewers over its six premiere episodes (2/11-2/25/18, Sunday 9pm and 10pm). Every episode ranked #1 among adults 25-54 across cable news in its respective hour. The series more than doubled MSNBC’s delivery during the 9p-11p time period among both adults 25-54 and total viewers.
• The premiere of CNN Films: Trophy (Sunday 1/14/18, 9p-11p) delivered 203k among 25-54 and 557k in total viewers, ranking #2 in cable news in its time period.
For the first quarter this year, CNN attracted an audience (61 years) that is five years younger than Fox News (66 years) and four years younger than MSNBC (65 years) in total day. CNN (60 years) is six years younger than Fox News and MSNBC (66 years) in prime time. MSNBC is tracking at its oldest yearly median age on record in total day and prime time.
First quarter in total day among adults 25-54, CNN is averaging a +5% lift with Out-of-Home viewers. Among ALL reportable Out-of-Home cable networks, CNN ranks #2 with 11k adults 25-54 Out-of-Home viewers, behind only ESPN (26k).
MONTH OF MARCH:
• CNN beat MSNBC in total day demo 25-54 for the 45th straight month (232k vs. 226k), longest monthly streak since January 2010
• CNN beat MSNBC dayside (9am-4pm) for the 49th straight month among adults 25-54 (226k vs. 191k). This is the longest monthly streak on record.
• CNN had third highest March dayside delivery since 2003 among both adults 25-54 and total viewers
• Ranks #1 in weekend (Sat/Sun) total day among adults 25-54 (203k), Fox News (200k), MSNBC (143k)
• Ranks #2 in weekend (Sat/Sun) prime time (254k), topping MSNBC (138k)
• Has third highest March M-F prime time delivery since 2009 among total viewers (1.116 million)
• CNN ranks #7 in ALL of cable among total viewers in total day, marking the third straight month that CNN is a Top 10 cable network. Ranks #10 in M-F prime time among total viewers
• New Day has second highest March delivery on record (behind only 2017)
• The Lead with Jake Tapper was #1 in cable news in March among 25-54 (255k), Fox News is second (248k) and MSNBC third (237k). The last time Tapper ranked #1 for the month was August 2017
• The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer topped MSNBC at both 5pm (272k vs. 250k) and 6pm (295k vs. 285k) in adults 25-54
• Erin Burnett Outfront beat MSNBC’s Chris Matthews (351k vs. 349k) for the third straight month and for 42 of the last 45 months among adults 25-54.
• AC 360 at 8p had its third highest March on record in both the demo and total viewers and is CNN’s highest rated week day prime time program.
• CNN Tonight with Don Lemon had its second highest March on record among adults 25-54 and third highest among total viewers
• Smerconish ranked #2 in cable news at 9am in the demo (222k) and total viewers (871k)
• State of the Union with Jake Tapper ranked #2 at 9am (270k) and #1 at noon in the demo adults 25-54 (276k) in March
• Fareed Zakaria GPS ranked #2 at 10am (252k) and #1 at 1pm in the demo 25-54 (222k)
• Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter ranked #1 in cable news at 11am among 25-54 (285k), Media Buzz followed with 239k and AM Joy averaged 218k. The last time the Stelter-led media program ranked #1 was in August 2017.