Ratings: Royal Baby Reveal Sees Brief Spike In Cable News, Tepid Network Primetime Specials

By Alex Weprin 

On Monday, a future monarch was born. Yesterday, the Royal baby made his public debut outside the hospital. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared outside the hospital shortly after 2 PM ET yesterday, and CNN, Fox News and MSNBC all covered the brief appearance live.

The ratings bear a striking similarity to the actual birth Monday, with only modest interest from viewers. Fox News led the way in total viewers at 2 PM, with CNN leading the way in the adults 25-54 demo.

Fox News: 1.424M total viewers/ 227K A25-54


CNN: 1.093M total viewers/ 318K A25-54

MSNBC: 439K total viewers/ 143K A25-54

There was no primetime ratings bump for any of the channels, with Fox News remaining number one, and CNN dipping to third in total and demo viewers behind MSNBC. In total day CNN placed second. Given the resources spent to cover the royal baby, it is likely the networks expected stronger ratings. For CNN, the slip to third continues to highlight the channel’s biggest problem: getting people to tune in on slow news days. Even a royal baby didn’t drive viewers to the channel in primetime.

In primetime, the royal baby specials on NBC Monday and ABC Tuesday drew downright tepid ratings.

NBC’s “Dateline” special drew 2.97 million viewers, placing it third behind “Under the Dome” on CBS and “Mistresses” on ABC. The “20/20” special on ABC last night drew 4.24 million viewers, also good for third, behind “America’s Got Talent” on NBC and a rerun of “Person of Interest” on CBS.