News Networks Tout Viewership Records In November; CNN Audience Jumps 180% In Primetime

Ted Johnson
·3 min read

November turned out to be a huge month for the cable news networks, as all three major outlets touted ratings milestones with the boost from Election Day and its aftermath.

The question, of course, is whether these levels will be sustained once Joe Biden takes office with the implicit promise of a return to normal news cycles.

CNN saw the greatest growth in its primetime numbers, jumping by 180% from November, 2019, to 2.8 million total viewers, in what it said was its most watched month ever. The figures are from Nielsen and come from Fox News and CNN.

Fox News still led handily in primetime and was up a robust 41% with 3.94 million total viewers, in what the network said was its highest rated November ever. MSNBC also jumped, up 29% to 2.7 million viewers, in what the network also said was its highest rated month ever.

In the 25-54 demographic, CNN topped with 948,000, up 297% from a year earlier; Fox News increased by 97% to 827,000; and MSNBC climbed 52% to 536,000.

The most viewed show was Tucker Carlson Tonight, averaging 5.1 million viewers, followed by Hannity with 5 million, The Five with 3.78 million, Ingraham Angle with 3.78 million and The Rachel Maddow Show with 3.4. million. Fox News said that the network’s primetime lineup delivered their highest rated month in the 25-54 demo ever.

In adults 25-54, Hannity was on top with 1.05 million, followed by Tucker Carlson Tonight with 1.02 million, The Ingraham Angle with 780,000, The Five with 688,000 and Cuomo Primetime with 671,000.

In total day viewers, Fox News was up 22% to 1.94 million; CNN climbed 135% to 1.78 million and MSNBC saw a 32% boost to 1.59 million. In the 25-54 demo, CNN topped with 558,000, up 210%; Fox News was at 413,000, up 59% and MSNBC had 302,000, up 59%.

Other highlights:

MSNBC said that it grew more than Fox News and CNN in the total day category versus the previous presidential election month in 2016. It also said that The 11th Hour with Brian Williams averaged 2.5 million to top the cable news competition in that time slot. It also said that during the last three weeks over November, The Beat with Ari Melber and The ReidOut finished first in total viewers in their 6 PM and 7 PM time slots. Newsmax has seen an uptick in its ratings, as its personalities have advanced President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of massive electoral fraud. Its highest rated show, Greg Kelly Reports at 7 PM, posted an average of 691,000 viewers on Monday, but that is down from 739,000 a week earlier and 969,000 on Nov. 16.

Fox News also said that Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo was number one among the cable news networks on Sunday morning in the A25-54 demographic, with 429,000 in the demo and 2.3 million total viewers. Bartiromo on Sunday had Trump’s first post-election TV interview.

CNN said that it topped all cable networks in daytime.

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