The presidential election is bringing eyeballs to cable news, as CNN saw a surge in viewers during the first quarter, posting its best numbers in seven years in total day and prime time.
The network announced that it also narrowed the ratings gap with Fox News Channel to the closest it has been in seven years.
The channel said it had its most-watched quarter in total day since the first quarter of 2009 and its best quarter in prime time since the fourth quarter of 2008, both in total viewers and in the key news demo of adults 25-54.
Fox News, meanwhile, posted its own milestone, announcing that it led all of basic cable for a full quarter for the first time in the channel’s history.
For the quarter, CNN prime time was up a whopping 165% over a year ago in total viewers, and up 143% in the news demo.
Here are the numbers for the three major cable news channels for the first quarter of 2016:
FNC: 1.351 million viewers (up 27%); 271,000 adults 25-54 (up 30%)
CNN: 732,000 viewers (up 57%); 217,000 adults 25-54 (up 48%)
MSNBC: 502,000 viewers (up 59%); 131,000 adults 25-54 (up 54%)
Prime time (8-11 p.m.)
FNC: 2.373 million viewers (up 38%); 483,000 adults 25-54 (up 50%)
CNN: 1.419 million viewers (up 165%); 455,000 adults 25-54 (up 143%)
MSNBC: 888,000 viewers (up 66%); 226,000 adults 25-54 (up 71%)