U.S. cable news networks: number of viewers April 2020

As of April 2020, Fox News was the most-watched network in the United States and continues to do well in terms of its prime time audience, with around 3.68 million primetime viewers in that month. News consumption was high among U.S. audiences as viewers turned to their preferred networks for updates on the coronavirus pandemic. Fox News averaged 3.54 million primetime viewers in the week running from March 9 to 15, 2020, and in April 2020 CNN's average audience among the 25-54 demographic jumped by 193 percent year on year.

Performing well during the mid-evening prime time slot on cable television is the goal of any network that takes its ratings seriously. News networks Fox, CNN and MSNBC are engaged in a monthly battle to hit the top spot during prime time and draw in the most viewers during those precious evening hours.

What is prime time?

Prime time television is the time at which the audience peaks, and in the United States usually takes place between 8pm and 11pm. TV networks show their most sought after or successful programs during this time, and this slot is where advertisers like to spend their money in order to maximize the amount of viewers who will see their products. Programs such as Hannity and The Rachel Maddow Show which debate news coverage from a particular point of view draw in massive audiences each month, and contribute to the overall ratings of the network they belong to.

Why do ratings matter?

Ratings are important to TV networks because they are linked to advertising rates, and rising or falling ratings can affect what an advertiser will pay to secure a spot. They are used by networks to determine their position compared to competitors.

Leading cable news networks in the United States in April 2020, by number of primetime viewers

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period

April 2020

Special properties

live + same day data

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Statistics on "Cable TV in the U.S."

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