Wednesday, April 29, 2020

TV Ratings: Stay-At-Home Viewers Watching The News

Each cable news host recorded their most-watched months ever in April, with coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home orders assuring a captive audience of people wanting to stay on top of the news.

Citing Nielsen data, The Associated Press reports each of the networks noted ratings superlatives: Fox News’ already dominant prime-time lineup had its best viewership ever in April, MSNBC’s full-day schedule also had the largest audience in network history and CNN’s all-day audience was its highest since September 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck, the Nielsen company said.

There were several individual markers:
  • Baier’s early-evening news report on Fox was the highest-rated in cable news for the first time, primarily because it often coincided with President Trump’s daily briefing.
  • During a period he was largely confined to his basement because he had COVID-19, CNN’s Chris Cuomo toppled a giant, at least by one measurement, beating MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow among younger viewers for the first time ever.
  • CNN had the biggest growth among the networks, with its full-day viewership up 150 percent over April 2019 and surpassing MSNBC for the first time in three years.
During weekday prime time, when cable news brings its stars out, Fox News averaged 4.14 million viewers in April, MSNBC had 2.47 million and CNN had 2.16 million, Nielsen said.

It’s worth noting, however, that none of the cable stars exceeded the viewership that David Muir, Lester Holt and Norah O’Donnell get every night on the broadcast evening newscasts.

CBS won the week in prime time among the broadcast networks, averaging 5.7 million viewers. NBC had 4 million viewers, ABC had 3.6 million, Fox had 2.9 million, Univision had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.2 million, Telemundo had 1 million and the CW had 760,000.

Broadcast TV Top 20 Prime-Time Shows (Total Viewers):

1. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 10.9 million.
2. “The Voice,” NBC, 9.18 million.
3. “Survivor,” CBS, 8.18 million.
4. “The Masked Singer,” Fox, 8.14 million.
5. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 8.02 million.
6. NFL Draft, Round One, ESPN, 7.86 million.
7. “NCIS,” CBS, 7.74 million.
8. “Magnum, P.I.,” CBS, 7.2 million.
9. “911,” Fox, 6.84 million.
10. “Grammy Salute to Prince,” CBS, 6.49 million

11. “God Friended Me” (Sunday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 6.31 million.
12. “MacGyver,” CBS, 6.19 million.
13. “God Friended Me” (Sunday, 9 p.m.), CBS, 6.1 million.
14. “American Idol,” ABC, 6.09 million.
15. “Man With a Plan,” CBS, 5.834 million.
16. “Seal Team,” CBS, 5.83 million.
17. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 5.75 million.
18. NFL Draft, Round One, ABC, 5.68 million.
19. “The Masked Singer: After the Mask,” Fox, 5.38 million.
20. “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 5.26 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 10.2 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 9.6 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.7 million.

Fox News Channel topped the cable networks in prime time, averaging 3.27 million viewers. Buoyed by the NFL draft, ESPN had 2.56 million. MSNBC had 1.93 million, CNN had 1.75 million and TLC had 1.37 million.

FNC claimed 12 of the top 15 cable news programs in Total Viewers, and the top six programs in the A25-54 demo. Additionally, most of the network’s early evening and prime-time programs delivered their largest monthly audiences ever in both Total Viewers and the key demo.

For the first half of the month of April, Food Network is up 22% year-over-year to average 223,000 total day 18-49 viewers, looking at Nielsen’s average minute commercial rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing (C3), according to analysis from MoffettNathanson Research.

TBS is 20% higher to 240,000 viewers, while Lifetime is 39% higher to 121,000; TLC has gained 24% to 140,000 and Comedy Central has added 17% to a total of 175,000 viewers.

Those networks generally witnessed mostly declines in March -- with a 3% increase for TLC, an 8% decline for Lifetime, a 1% gain for Comedy Central, a 22% drop for TBS and a 3% pullback for Food Network.

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