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African-American News Viewership Doubles Amid Protests

(Image credit: CNN)

News coverage this past weekend of protests around the country responding to the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody provided huge viewership numbers for cable news networks, according to research by Samba TV.

About 16.6 million households watched cable news this weekend (May 30-31) compared to the less than 10 million households CNN, Fox News and MSNBC drew during the weekends of May 23 and May 16 according to Samba.

Overall household viewership for the news networks was up 116% this past weekend compared to the previous weekend, according to Samba. CNN and MSNBC both increased its reach by 126%, while Fox News increased by 99%. 

African-American audiences more than doubled over the weekend, with household tune-in numbers up 115% compared to the previous weekend. Also, younger audiences constituted the majority of viewers, with households with a member between the ages of 20 to 35 saw a 100% spike in viewership during this weekend as compared to last.  

Samba TV also reported that Minneapolis, where the protests began, was the only top 25 DMA to track an increase in reach greater than 200% based on weekend-over-weekend viewership (+229%). Several other top DMAs saw increases over 100%, with Chicago (+136%), Atlanta (+121%), and Pittsburgh (116%) following Minneapolis, said the company. 

R. Thomas Umstead
R. Thomas Umstead

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.