CNN Tops Rivals With Montana, S. Dakota Primary Coverage


CNN topped Fox News Channel and MSNBC in primetime and throughout the network’s extended election coverage of the Montana and South Dakota primaries Tuesday night, officials said Wednesday. 

During primetime, CNN averaged 3.5 million total viewers, 34% more than MSNBC’s 2.6 million, and 47% more than FNC’s 2.4 million, according to Nielsen Media Research data provided by CNN.

In the key 25-to-54 demographic during primetime, CNN was also top-rated with 1.4 million viewers, a 34% lead over second place MSNBC’s 1.1 million, and a 91% advantage over FNC’s 739,000.

Throughout CNN’s extended coverage from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., the network bested the competition with 2.5 million viewers. MSNBC placed a distant second with 1.73 million viewers while FNC trailed with 1.68 million total viewers. CNN also led among in the 25-to-54 demo, averaging 1 million viewers, with MSNBC following with 696,000 and FNC with 549,000.

CNN peaked with 4.5 million viewers during the 10 p.m. hour with Anderson Cooper, the only network to top 4 million viewers for an hour.

CNN’s audience also surged online with 10.6 million unique visitors going to for last night’s primary coverage. The Political Ticker,’s political news blog, generated 1.9 million page views Tuesday.