Donald Trump’s speech was panned by some as flat and tired, and knocked by others as a re-hash of old grievances. But it delivered in a way that will surely please the former president: he got big ratings. 6.6 million viewers watched the speech in the 8 o’clock hour hosted by Tucker Carlson, more than double the audience of MSNBC, which finished second in the hour with 2.65 million viewers.
MSNBC did not carry Trump’s address, with Rachel Maddow explaining to viewers that it was “basically a campaign speech in which he’s repeating his same lies and allegations against his perceived enemies,” she said. CNN did carry the speech, and that paid off: CNN drew 2.125 million viewers, ratings far higher than the network has seen in prime time in months.
In the key demographic of adults 25-54, Fox News won during Trump’s speech with 1.074 million viewers, followed by CNN (592,000 viewers) and MSNBC (331,000 viewers).
The former president’s appearance in a New York courtroom earlier in the day dominated the conversation on cable news throughout the day and into the evening, and ratings between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. ET, when the arraignment took place, were significantly higher than normal, with 7.6 million viewers watching across the three networks of Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. Fox had the largest single audience, 3.036 million viewers, followed by CNN (2.359 million viewers) and MSNBC (2.152 million viewers). In the key demo, CNN took first place with 506,000 viewers, followed by Fox News (398,000 viewers) and MSNBC (316,000 viewers).
In prime time, Fox had the largest audience, 4.319 million viewers, followed by MSNBC (2.588 million viewers) and CNN (1.678 million viewers). Fox also won in the key demo with 679,000 viewers, followed by CNN (451,000 viewers), and MSNBC (330,000 viewers). Fox also had the largest audience based on total day ratings, with 2.182 million viewers, followed by MSNBC (1.488 million viewers) and CNN (1.088 million viewers).