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CNN falls behind HGTV in prime time ratings

(Image: AT&T WarnerMedia/Graphic: The Desk)

Less than two months after cable news channel CNN was bested in the ratings by holiday movies on the Hallmark Channel, the Atlanta-based network has suffered another embarrassing defeat.

Prime time Nielsen ratings for a one-week period ending February 2 revealed CNN placed fifth among all basic cable channels with 1,084,000 households tuning in during the last full week of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

Coverage by Fox News Channel dominated the prime time ratings, with more than 3.38 million households tuning in. MSNBC came in second with 1.58 million households, followed by ESPN (1.214 million households).

Home and Garden Television (HGTV) took fourth place with 1.126 million households, followed by CNN.

During the Senate trial itself, MSNBC topped households overall with 1.515 million households tuning in during the final hours on Friday. Fox News came in second with 1.398 million households; CNN came in third at just under a million households.

CNN redeemed itself this week with coverage of President Trump’s annual State of the Union address, placing second among all cable news channels. On broadcast television, Comcast-owned NBC placed first, followed by CBS, ABC and the Fox Broadcast Network’s simulcast of Fox News coverage.

Overall, this year’s State of the Union address drew a smaller audience compared to last year, with 33.67 million households tuning in across all channels compared to 46.79 million in 2019.

CNN is a division of WarnerMedia, which is owned by AT&T. HGTV is operated by Discovery Networks.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).