Viewership of the cable news networks swelled on Monday night with coverage of the unrest in Baltimore, with nearly 6 million watching during an average minute. As was usually the case, it was CNN that benefited most relative to its usual primetime position, though Fox News Channel saw sizable gains as well.
According to Nielsen, CNN was the primetime cable news ratings leader in the key news demo of adults 25-54 last night with 924,000 — a whopping 574% improvement over the previous Monday’s total (137,000). Fox News ran second in the demo with 839,000 (up 121% from last Monday) and MSNBC was a distant third with 214,000 (up 77%).
The 8 p.m. hour of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” drew the most viewers in the demo for the night (975,000), followed closely by Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” at 10 p.m. (960,000). CNN’s demo audience declined a bit throughout primetime while FNC’s rose.
In total viewers, Fox News was dominant with 2.964 million viewers during primetime (up nearly 1 million from last Monday), followed by CNN with 2.136 million (more than six times last week) and MSNBC with 753,000 (a modest 15% gain). FNC’s “Shepard Smith Reporting” (3.041 million), “Hannity” (2.941 million) and “The Kelly File” (2.911 million) were the three most-watched cable news programs.
Overall, the three-network totals for the night were a strong 1.977 million adults 25-54 (more than triple the previous Monday’s 638,000) and 5.853 million total viewers (nearly double the 3.055 of last week).