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Viewers Elect to Watch Cable News Nets for Political Coverage

With all due respect to Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the biggest winners at Monday night’s Iowa caucus were the cable news networks.

With viewer interest in this year’s presidential political campaign at unprecedented levels, its not surprising that Fox News, CNN and MSNBC drew big numbers for their coverage of the political primary season’s first voting night.

Fox News and CNN can fight over whose caucus coverage won over the biggest audeince – Fox News drew 4.3 million viewers during the 8 p.m. to midnight time period to top all news nets, while CNN reached a cable news network high 1.4 million viewers in the adult 25-54 category – but the fact is that coverage from all three networks easily bested their respective primetime audience averages.

The high ratings performances continues the trend begun last fall with the Republican Presidential debate telecasts notching record audiences for Fox News and CNN, as well as Fox Business Network and CNBC.

With the New Hampshire primaries a week away and primaries in Nevada and South Carolina later this month, look for viewers to continue to vote for the cable news networks as the primary outlets for their political fix.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.