Troubled legacy cable news outlet CNN is continuing to struggle after suffering through a series of staff scandals and the failure of its streamer, CNN+.
In fact, the outlet’s prime-time viewership has trended so low the network was beaten on Friday by relative newcomer Newsmax TV.
According to Nielsen – and first reported by Mediaite – Newsmax’s live coverage of former President Trump’s Pennsylvania rally pushed the network ahead of CNN in audience viewership.
Newsmax pulled 738,000 total viewers between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET, with an evening prime-time average of 579,000 viewers.
The Nielsen numbers do not tell the full story. Newsmax is carried in 20 million less homes than CNN, giving it proportionately a much higher rating than its competitor.
The Nielsen numbers do not include Newsmax’s massive OTT streaming audience, which the network estimates often almost doubles the Nielsen rating during Trump rally coverage and other programming.
For the past year, Newsmax has consistently held the position as the fourth-highest-rated cable news channel in the U.S. and a top-20 cable channel in daytime, according to Nielsen.
Total Primetime Viewers / 25-54 Demo Viewers:
Fox News: 2.341 million / 352,000
MSNBC: 777,000 / 76,000
Newsmax: 579,000 / NA
CNN: 545,000 / 91,000
Earlier, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy noted: “We can’t speak to Fox News’ decisions, but we believe this rally was a significant news event that was worthy of coverage.”