MSNBC"s "Rachel Maddow Show" ranks first among programs, if CNN scores a demographic win and Fox News top primetime in full viewers.

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Rachel Maddow, Tucker Carlson and also Anderson CooperTheo Wargo/Getty Images; Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images; Michael Kovac/Getty pictures
The three key cable news channels scored more huge ratings in the an initial quarter that 2021, yet the past few weeks have taken a spicy downward turn.

CNN, Fox News and MSNBC all discovered reasons to crow around their performance in the very first three months of the year: MSNBC had the most watched regime in The Rachel Maddow Show and also led the full day in total viewers. CNN had the best year-to-year gains and led both the full day and primetime in the vital adults 25-54 demographic. Fox News ranked very first across all of cable in primetime viewership for the 5th straight quarter.

The numbers because that March, however, call a different story. Fox News held the peak spot across the board for the month, yet all three networks fell by at the very least 19 percent in total-day viewers and by at the very least 40 percent in adult 25-54 compared to critical year.

The news cycle had a many to carry out with that: last March featured the spread out of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the unified States and also the subsequent disruption the the economy and the autonomous presidential primary. Fox News shed 51 percent of its total-day audience and 34 percent that its primetime viewers indigenous March 2020; CNN fell by 32 percent because that the complete day and also 37 percent in primetime; and MSNBC was under 19 percent in both.

For the 4 minutes 1 as a whole, however, CNN and also MSNBC both improved. MSNBC led total-day viewership with 1.38 million in Nielsen’s “most current” ratings (a mix of delayed and also same-day viewing) a 30 percent bump from last year. CNN was right behind at 1.35 million, up 63 percent year come year, while Fox News’ 1.34 million viewers to be off by 30 percent. In primetime, CNN (1.99 million viewers) and MSNBC (2.29 million) to be up by 45 percent and 19 percent, respectively. While Fox News slide by 25 percent come 2.58 million viewers, the still preserved a decent command in full viewers.

In the 25-54 demo, CNN led the quarter through an mean of 352,000 viewers in that age selection for the full day, contrasted to 225,000 for Fox, and also 219,000 for MSNBC. In primetime it was CNN with 535,000, Fox News v 408,000, and MSNBC v 375,000.

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The Rachel Maddow Show averaged 3.6 million viewers because that the quarter, edging Tucker Carlson Tonight ~ above Fox News (3.43 million) for the No. 1 spot in cable news. Fox’s Hannity (3 million) and The Five (2.84 million) and also MSNBC’s The critical Word through Lawrence O’Donnell (2.65 million) rounded out the top five in complete viewers. In the 25-54 demo, CNN’s Cuomo prime Time (658,000) led the way, ahead of the 618,000 because that Maddow’s show. CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 (611,000), Carlson (575,000) and also CNN’Erin Burnett Outfront (544,000) followed.