TV Ratings: CNN and Fox News Share Iowa Caucuses Coverage Victory

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Overall coverage rises from 2008, the last doubly competitive kickoff to primary season.

It wasn't debate-big, but Monday was still a strong night for cable news.

Wall-to-wall coverage of the Iowa Caucuses on CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC saw the biggest viewer turnout between in the traditional primetime block of 8 and 11 p.m. ET. CNN walked away with the biggest showing among adults 25-54, while FNC won the race for total viewers.

In the key demo, CNN averaged 1.394 million viewers. That put it above FNC's 1.165 million and, naturally, quite far ahead of MSNBC's 592,000 among adults 25-54. For CNN, the haul was up 56 percent from the 2008 Iowa Caucuses coverage — the last time both the Democratic and Republican parties had contested races. With 4.461 million viewers, FNC won the night's race for total viewers. It topped CNN's 3.73 million and MNSBC's respectable third-place showing of 1.968 million, also ranking as the most-watched Iowa coverage in cable news history.

All three of the cable networks were up significantly from 2008 among total viewers, and CNN and FNC both rose dramatically in the key demo, but MSNBC barely moved the dial with adults 25-54. The network improved just 1 percent from 2008 — despite the addition of Brian Williams.

See the full primetime rundown below:

Adults 25-54 (difference from 2008)
1. CNN: 1.394 million (+56 percent)
2. FNC: 1.165 million (+45 percent)
3. MSNBC: 584,000 (+1 percent)

Total Viewers (difference from 2008)
1. FNC: 4.461 million (+80 percent)
2. CNN: 3.730 million (+69 percent)
3. MSNBC: 1.968 million (+51 percent)


 

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