TV Ratings: State of the Union Coverage Marks Growth for CNN

State of Union Barack Obama 2 - H 2013
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

State of Union Barack Obama 2 - H 2013

Tuesday night's State of the Union was largely positive for cable news networks, especially CNN, after early returns had the broadcast networks down considerably from the 2012 address.

CNN, jumping 36 percent in both total viewers and the key 25-54 demographic year over year, narrowly lost in overall viewership to perennial cable news winner Fox News Channel and bested it in the demo. The network, with Jeff Zucker now serving as president, pulled 3.635 million viewers during the address, 1.436 million of them adults 25-54. For the entire primetime block, 8 to 11 p.m., CNN pulled 3.361 million viewers and 1.284 million adults 25-54.

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FNC, topping in total viewers during both time periods with 3.683 million for the address and 3.822 million in primetime, saw its State of the Union viewership down 3 percent from last year. In the key demo, FNC dropped 16 percent to 957,000 adults 25-54. (FNC averaged 868,000 in the demo for all of primetime.)

MSNBC, third in viewers, was up 8 percent from last year with 3.034 million during the address -- averaging 2.393 million in primetime. In the demo, MSNBC topped FNC only during the address, rising 26 percent from last year to 1.028 million viewers.

All three networks also saw a significant lead-in to State of the Union coverage with reporting from the Christopher Dorner standoff near Big Bear Lake, California.

Broadcast viewership from NBC, ABC and CBS will all likely eclipse the cable networks when final adjustments are in.

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