Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Iowa caucus coverage a hit for news networks

NEW YORK — Much like the presidential debates, coverage of the Iowa caucus set new standards for television viewership.

An average of 10.2 million people watched the results of the year's first presidential contest Monday on CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, the Nielsen company said. Besides Ted Cruz's mild upset win in the Republican caucus, the Democratic contest was a nailbiter between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

That doubled the 5.1 million people who watched Iowa caucus coverage four years ago. The previous high was just under 6 million on the news networks in 2008, the last time there was no incumbent running. In 2000, a different era when broadcast networks were a bigger player in news coverage, the three news networks had 1.5 million viewers on caucus night.

The caucus coverage also more than doubled the viewership for the three news networks during a typical weeknight in January, Nielsen said.

Fox, the longtime cable ratings leader, averaged 4.46 million viewers during the prime-time hours of 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. CNN had 3.73 million, and beat Fox within the 25-to-54-year-old demographic that advertising sales for most news programs are based upon. MSNBC, whose coverage was anchored by Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow, had just under 2 million.

The most popular prime-time program in all of television last week was Fox News Channel's coverage of the GOP debate before Iowa. The coverage narrowly beat Fox broadcasting's live presentation of "Grease."

CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 7.5 million viewers. Fox had 6.8 million, NBC had 4.9 million, ABC had 3.9 million, Univision had 1.93 million, the CW had 1.86 million, ION Television had 1.43 million and Telemundo had 1.35 million.

Fox News Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 3.18 million viewers in prime time. ESPN had 2.45 million, USA had 1.849 million, HGTV had 1.846 million and TBS had 1.61 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.6 million viewers. ABC's "World News Tonight" was second with 9.2 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 8 million viewers.

For the week of Jan. 25-31, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: Republican Presidential Debate, Fox News Channel, 12.47 million; "Grease: Live," Fox, 12.21 million; "NCIS," CBS, 11.98 million; "Scorpion," CBS, 10.7 million; "Madam Secretary," CBS, 10.2 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 10.06 million; "The X-Files" (Monday), Fox, 9.67 million; "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 9.626 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 9.625 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 9.38 million.

Iowa caucus coverage a hit for news networks 02/02/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 2, 2016 9:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bicyclist struck in St. Petersburg dies as result of injuries

    Accidents

    ST. PETERSBURG — A bicyclist who police said ran a red light and was struck by a car last week died over the weekend.

  2. Eight Gators, including Antonio Callaway and Jordan Scarlett, face felony fraud accusations

    Blogs

    At least eight Florida Gators face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud, according to Alachua County court records.

    Star receiver Antonio Callaway is among at least four Florida Gators who face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud.
  3. Photo of the Day for September 25, 2017 - Tufted Titmouse

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Christopher Woods of Palm Harbor, FL. He calls it "Tufted Titmouse."

  4. Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel, prolific Tampa Bay philanthropists, are putting up $200 million to create and run a new medical school under Nova Southeastern University. Here is a rendering of the proposed campus [Courtesy of Southestern Noval University}
  5. Two new condo projects for same street in downtown St. Pete

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.

    Bezu, a condo project planned at 100 4th Ave. N in downtown St. Petersburg, will have 24 units including a three-level penthouse with infinity pool.
[Courtesy of Clear ph Design]