President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union meant larger-than-average ratings across the board for cable news. But compared to last year, only one of the big three networks saw an increase in viewership.
In total viewers, Fox News led the way with an average 3.52M between 9 and 10:15 p.m. ET when the president was speaking. CNN came in second place with 2.64M and MSNBC was third with 2.01M.
However, in the 25-54 demo, CNN took the lead with 1.07M viewers, followed by Fox with 856K and then MSNBC with 482K.
Those numbers represented Fox News’ lowest State of the Union ratings in the demo since 2000 and its worst in total viewers since 2001. Meanwhile, MSNBC saw its worst SOTU ratings in the demo since 2006 and the lowest in total viewers since 2008.
CNN was the only cable news network to increased viewership over last year’s State of the Union coverage, rising 40% in the demo (1.068M vs. 762K) and 27% in total viewers (2.64M vs. 2.08M). Fox News dropped 29% in the demo (856K vs. 1.198M) and 25% in total viewers (3.52M vs. 4.72M). MSNBC saw an even steeper drop of 36% in the demo (482k vs. 753k) and was down 12% in total viewers (2.01M vs. 2.30M).
In overall primetime, which included pre- and post-speech analysis from all networks, CNN edged out Fox News in the demo, while Fox was #1 in total viewers. MSNBC came in third place in both categories.
[Photo via screengrab]
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