Ratings: CNN, Fox News Channel Draw Record Audiences for Super Tuesday

CNN led on the demo side and Fox News Channel in total viewers for coverage of Super Tuesday, with both networks establishing all-time highs for a night of primary and caucus coverage. MSNBC, on the other hand, lagged well behind its rivals and was the only network down from 2008 Super Tuesday.

Overall, according to preliminary Nielsen estimates, roughly 11 million people watched one of three cable news networks during primetime Tuesday, when primary and caucus results from eleven states were revealed — up from 9.3 million on the comparable night eight years ago. About a month ago, FNC, CNN and MSNBC drew 10.2 million for primetime coverage of the Iowa caucuses.

CNN registered the largest audience in the adults 25-54 news demo than any cable network on record for a primary/caucus night, averaging 1.6 million from 8 to 11. Fox News followed with 1.36 million, and MSNBC lagged far behind with 625,000.

In total viewers, Fox delivered another record-breaking primary night with 4.88 million viewers during primetime. CNN drew 4.10 million, and MSNBC about 1.98 million.

Compared with the 2008 Super Tuesday, Fox News Channel was up the most — rising 40% in total viewers and 25% in the demo. CNN was up too, growing 12% overall and 5% in the demo, but MSNBC lost nearly 40% of its demo audience and 6% of its overall audience.

Broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC devoted the 10 p.m. hour to Super Tuesday, combining for about 13 million viewers. CNN noted that it beat both ABC and CBS in adults 25-54, and was especially dominant in adults 18-34 (515,000 to 316,000 for ABC and 239,000 for ABC).

NBC, boosted by a strong lead-in from reality hit “The Voice,” was the overall leader at 10 p.m., drawing 5.88 million viewers to best CBS (4.90 million) and ABC (3.19 million), according to Nielsen. The Peacock was even more dominant in adults 25-54 with about 2.3 million in the demo (1.9 rating), while CBS drew about 1.42 million (1.2 rating) and ABC about 1.2 million (1.0 rating).

CNN Digital had another big night, with 14 million unique visitors and 3 million mobile app users, while also exceeding the traffic of all primaries and caucuses going back to 2008 in video starts. CNN Politics experiences its second best day of the 2015-16 campaign cycle with more than 8 million unique visitors.

Next up on the political docket are a Republican debate tomorrow night on Fox News Channel, and a Democratic debate Sunday night on CNN. Both will be held in Michigan in advance of the state’s primary next Tuesday.

More TV

  • Michael Che Defends Kevin Hart on

    Michael Che Ribs Academy Over Kevin Hart Controversy on 'SNL'

    Kevin Hart may have alienated some in Hollywood over his recently resurfaced homophobic tweets, but that didn’t stop “Weekend Update” co-host Michael Che from cracking some jokes in support of Hart on Dec. 8’s “Saturday Night Live.” After briefly recapping that Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars after the 2011 tweets came to light, [...]


    'The Umbrella Academy' Superheroes Series Premiere Date Set on Netflix

    The dysfunctional-family superheroes of “The Umbrella Academy” are landing on Netflix worldwide on Feb. 15, 2019. The live-action series is based on the “Umbrella Academy” comic books created and written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, published by Dark Horse Comics. The Netflix original series comprises 10 one-hour episodes. “The Umbrella Academy” stars [...]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Jason Momoa"

    Robert De Niro Appears as Robert Mueller in 'Saturday Night Live' Cold Open

    Robert De Niro made a surprise appearance as special counsel Robert Mueller in “Saturday Night Live’s” cold open. De Niro popped out of a closet in a sketch that skewered President Donald Trump and the mounting legal pressure Mueller’s investigation has put on many of Trump’s associates. Alex Moffatt played Eric Trump in a bedtime-story [...]

  • ‘The Breadwinner,’ ‘Ivandoe’ Top 2019 European

    ‘The Breadwinner,’ ‘The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe’ Top 2018 Emile Awards

    LILLE, France – “The Breadwinner” director Nora Twomey and “The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe” directors Christian Bøving-Andersen and Eva Lee Wallberg took top honors at Saturday night’s second edition of the European Animation Awards (EAA) in Lille, France, scooping best feature and best TV/broadcast production respectively. It was an evening of beautiful [...]

  • The King Eric Clapton A Life

    Rashida Jones, Lili Zanuck Talk Grammy Nominations and the Music-Documentary Gold Rush

    Nothing takes you back to time and a place like the music of a particular era. That’s one big reason why music documentaries are flourishing at a time of enormous demand for high-end docu productions. This year’s five Grammy Award nominees for best music film reflect the appetite for stories about renowned and beloved musical figures, [...]

  • Sacred Games Indian Television

    'Sacred Games,' 'Miss Sherlock' Win Asian Academy Creative Awards

    Hulu Japan and HBO Asia’s “Miss Sherlock” won best drama series at the inaugural Asian Academy Creative Awards. The awards were spread over two evenings at Singapore’s Capitol Theatre on Friday and Saturday. India’s Anurag Kashyap won best direction (fiction) for season one of Netflix original series “Sacred Games.” The series also won best editing [...]

  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend -- "I'm Not The

    'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Boss Breaks Down Introducing Skylar Astin as the New Greg

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “I’m Not the Person I Used to Be,” the Season 4 midseason finale of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” As the CW’s musical comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” prepares to sign off with a series finale in 2019, showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna and her team of writers have been pushing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content