CNN Ratings Surge During Intense News Cycle

CNN logoSome good news for CNN; the network is enjoying double-digit growth in viewers compared to a year ago, while FOX News Channel (FXNC) and MSNBC are loosing viewers. In addition, The Lead with Jake Tapper took the #1 spot in Cable News in the 25-54 demographic, and had the highest July on record for page views and video starts. July was a monumental month for CNN. Paula Deen’s “n-word” scandal started the month with a bang, then ratings were buoyed by one of the busiest summer news cycles in years, with coverage of the Hot Shot fireman crew killed in Arizona, the crisis in Egypt, the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 and the trial of George Zimmerman. CNN’s ratings momentum continued with the network finishing a strong second in all key categories. For the third consecutive month, CNN had more viewers than MSNBC and for the third time in four months, CNN dominated MSNBC in the key demo 25-54 rating (MSNBC placed fourth). July represents CNN’s second best demo 25-54 rating performance this year (since Boston bombings in April, 2013).

CNN also had notable gains compared to a year ago (despite elevated audience levels a year ago amid coverage of the Aurora, CO theater shooting) posting double-digit growth in all categories while FXNC and MSNBC lost viewers in July. Every one of MSNBC’s M-F primetime programs experienced double-digit declines this month vs. a year ago. In July, FXNC continued their trend of losing viewers in the key 25-54 demo rating and for the second straight month, posted its lowest 25-54 audience since May 2006.’s domestic site had the highest July on record for page views and video starts with:

  • 1.4 billion page views, up 9% over June and 11% over July 2012
  • 99mm video starts, 19% over June and 15% over the previous year
  • 94mm unique visitors, 5% more than June and 8% over the previous year

Additionally, CNN’s US mobile website had 361mm page views in July and 6.4mm video starts, the highest of all time.

CNN’s newest program New Day also saw significant ratings gains compared to a year ago and topped MSNBC’s Morning Joe for four of the past six weeks in the demo 25-54 since the program launched (June 17, 2013). New Day also narrowed the gap significantly with Morning Joe this month compared to CNN programming a year ago.

TOTAL DAY (6a-6a):
CNN 521k total viewers (up +47% from a year ago) / 183k A25-54 (up +68% from a year ago)
HLN 387k total viewers (up +57%) / 159k A25-54 (up +57%)
MSNBC 381k total viewers (down -12%) / 138k A25-54 (down -3%)
FXNC 1.063m total viewers (flat) / 216k A25-54 (down -14%)

M-F PRIMETIME (8-11p):
CNN 656k total viewers (up +26%) / 243k A25-54 (up +51%)
HLN 466k total viewers (up +55%) / 197k A25-54 (up +86%)
MSNBC 620k total viewers (down -28%) / 188k A25-54 (down -22%)
FXNC 1.857m total viewers (down -9%) / 327k A25-54 (down -19%)

M-Su PRIMETIME (8-11p):
CNN 675k total viewers (up +38%) / 255k A25-54 (up +71%)
HLN 491k total viewers (up +53%) / 196k A25-54 (up +68%)
MSNBC 589k total viewers (down -18%) / 206k A25-54 (down -7%)
FXNC 1.672m total viewers (down -3%) / 298k A25-54 (down -10%)

DAYTIME (9a-5p):
CNN 652k total viewers (up +49%) / 201k A25-54 (up + 72%)
HLN 480k total viewers (up +117%) / 170k A25-54 (up +98%)
MSNBC 338k total viewers (down -13%) / 96k A25-54 (up +2%)
FXNC 1.147m total viewers (down -6%) / 206k A25-54 (down -20%)

Source: Adobe SiteCatalyst and Bango Analytics through 7/29; *Note: Historical records for page views for go back to August 2005 and video records to July 2007.