Trump Coronavirus Briefing Ratings Tick Downwards, Still the Most Watched Event on Cable


Ratings for President Donald Trump’s briefings with the White House coronavirus task force ticked downwards this week.

On Monday, more than 10 million people tuned in to watch the briefing across MSNBC, CNN and Fox News. Thursday’s briefing drew fewer eyeballs: around 8.7 million. In the advertiser coveted 25-54 demo, viewership for the briefings was down as well.

The briefings remain the most watched thing on cable news, mostly thanks to the massive audience they still attract on Fox News. In the 6 p.m. hour, where the bulk of the briefing occurred, Special Report with Bret Baier drew 5.1 million total viewers and 1.08 million in the demo. CNN, which has seen its ratings skyrocket during the coronavirus pandemic, drew less than half of that: 2.01 million in total viewers and 591,000 in the demo.

MSNBC’s coverage of the briefings drew 317,000 in the demo and 1.63 million in total viewers. The network has not been a destination for Trump’s daily spectacles.

In prime time, Fox News host Sean Hannity eked out a win over Tucker Carlson for the most viewers — though Carlson bested his 9 p.m. colleague in the demo. While Hannity drew 827,000 in the demo and 4.36 million overall, Tucker Carlson Tonight pulled 948,000 (that’s a big number) in the demo and 4.32 million in total viewers.

As usual, Rachel Maddow was the ratings draw for MSNBC. She had 617,000 in the demo and 3.25 million in total viewers. Lawrence O’Donnell saw strong numbers too, bringing in 425,000 in the demo and 2.36 million overall.

On CNN, the network’s regularly scheduled coronavirus town hall, hosted by Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta, averaged 596,000 viewers in the demo and 2.04 million overall.

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