TV Saturday: CNN is now beating Fox News with MSNBC not far behind

NEW YORK (AP) — Since the presidential election, CNN has been on one of its best competitive rolls in almost two decades, enough that it is taking out newspaper ads touting its success.

Between Nov. 4 and Sunday, CNN has averaged 1.73 million viewers, more than double a year ago, the Nielsen company said. Fox News Channel had 1.56 million and MSNBC had 1.53 million.

It’s the first time since December 2001, the newsy period after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, that CNN has beaten Fox News in this measurement for as long as a month, Nielsen said.

“Since the day after the election, there has been a clear winner,” CNN said in ads over the weekend that boast of their victory while also seeming to gently tweak President Donald Trump’s false assertion he beat Democrat Joe Biden.

CNN has shown improvement across different parts of the day, although Fox News’ powerful prime-time lineup has continued on top.

Fox News seems hurt by a common phenomenon in election years: networks whose audience is dominated by fans of one particular candidate — Trump in this case — see some depressed viewers slip away when that candidate loses.

That’s most apparent during daylight hours, when Fox has been down 10 percent compared to a year ago, Nielsen said.

In prime time last week, Fox News led all cable networks with an average of 2.65 million viewers. ESPN had 2.45 million, MSNBC had 2.18 million, CNN had 1.92 million and Hallmark had 1.67 million.

Among the broadcast networks, NBC led last with a prime time average of 6 million viewers. CBS had 5.2 million, ABC had 3.8 million, Fox had 2.1 million, Univision had 1.4 million, Telemundo had 990,000 and Ion TV had 950,000.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening news ratings race with an average of 9.9 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 8.3 million viewers and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.4 million.

For the week of Nov. 30 to Dec. 6, the top 20 programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. NFL Football: Denver at Kansas City, NBC, 17.07 million.

2. “NFL Postgame,” Fox, 12.31 million.

3. NFL Football: Seattle at Philadelphia, ESPN, 11.88 million.

4. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 11.47 million.

5. “NFL Pregame,” NBC, 11.14 million.

6. “Football Night in America” (Sunday, 7:56 p.m.), NBC, 9.09 million.

7. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 7.58 million.

8. “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” NBC, 7.41 million.

9. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 7.18 million.

10. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 7.13 million.

11. “Football Night in America” (Sunday, 7:30 p.m.), NBC, 7.05 million.

12. “The Masked Singer,” Fox, 6.57 million.

13. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 6.44 million.

14. “A Holly Dolly Christmas,” CBS, 6.42 million.

15. “Monday Night Kickoff,” ESPN, 6.04 million.

16. “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 5.873 million.

17. “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer,” CBS, 5.866 million.

18. “Disney Holiday Singalong,” ABC, 5.72 million.

19. “Station 19,” ABC, 5.59 million.

20. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 5.52 million.