CNN Wins Ratings Race For Democratic Debate


In the final Democratic presidential debate before the Iowa caucuses next month, CNN nipped Fox News Channel in the battle for cable news viewers.

With the Dec. 13 debate from Johnson City, Iowa, CNN drew 977,000 viewers between 2 p.m.-3:35 p.m., edging Fox News’s 947,000, according to Nielsen Media Research data. For its part, MSNBC covered Major League Baseball’s report about performance-enhancing drugs and attracted 282,000 viewers from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Among the 25-to-54 news demo, CNN scored with 344,000 of those viewers with the Democratic debate, versus 234,000 for FNC. MSNBC’s coverage of the MLB press conference garnered 96,000 of those watchers.

MSNBC aired the Democrat primary debate from 3 p.m. - 4:25 p.m.,  attracting 201,000 total viewers. However, it “scratched” with the news demo, delivering 46,000 adults 25 to 54.

On Dec. 12, FNC set the ratings pace with its coverage of the final Republican presidential primary of the year, pulling in 1.04 million viewers, more than double CNN and MSNBC’s combined total. The sector leader was also the winner with the news demo (286,000).