Major News Stories Pushed Cable TV News Networks Higher

With big new stories on COVID-19 and nationwide protests around social justice, the three major cable TV news networks scored strong viewing hikes of 34% to 120% more for the second three months of 2020 versus the same period a year ago.

CNN posted the biggest percentage increase -- 120% -- to 1.19 million in Nielsen-measured live program-plus-same day time-shifted total day viewership, at third place among all cable TV networks. 

Fox News Channel -- the long-time leader among all cable TV networks -- grew 48% to 1.96 million. MSNBC, in second place, was up 34% to 1.21 million.

In second-quarter prime-time viewership, Fox News Channel improved 50% to 3.6 million over a year ago, while MSNBC grew 19% to 2.0 million. Similar to its total day viewing, CNN more than doubled its prime-time numbers -- improving 137% to 1.81 million. 



Similar results were seen in prime time for June with Fox 53% higher, MSNBC 21% more and CNN gaining 146%.

Fox, MSNBC, and CNN placed first, second and third in viewership among all cable networks in both prime-time and total day viewership.

Standard Media Index says national TV news advertising revenue grew nearly 10% to $103.9 million in May.

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