Updated with additional stats: Fox News Channel bagged the biggest overall audience among cable news channels last night, and the biggest news-demo crowd, as Donald Trump notched his third consecutive victory in the presidential election cycle.
CNN won the news-demo derby during the two hours of primetime in which it aired its Chris Cuomo-hosted Democratic town hall in Columbia, SC, while awaiting Nevada caucus stats.
From start of primetime at 8 PM ET until Donald Trump first was declared the winner at about midnight, FNC logged 2.6M viewers and 585K news demo viewers. CNN copped 1.7M viewers and 523K news demo viewers. MSNBC trailed with 952K viewers and 250K news demo viewers.
CNN’s two-hour Dem town hall finished first overall in the news demo, based mostly on its second hour. The Q&A with White House hopefuls Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton averaged 653k in the 25-54 age bracket from 8-10 PM, edging out Fox News Channel’s 648K and MSNBC’s 243K. FNC prevailed in viewers with 3.26M to CNN’s 2.16M and MSNBC’s 944K. And, FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor edged out Sanders in the first hour of CNN’s Q&A with Dem candidates both in the news demo (666K v 631K) and in overall audience. In fact, Bill O’Reilly’s show was the night’s No. 1 ranked in overall audience (3.7M).
In overall audience in the two-hour block, CNN’s 2.16M viewers trounced MSNBC’s 944K, but lagged FNC’s 3.26M across the two hours.
CNN will broadcast three of the next four Presidential debates (two Republican and one Democratic), including tomorrow night’s GOP debate in Houston at 8:30 PM ET, moderated by Wolf Blitzer.