CNN climate town hall finishes last in viewers among cable news broadcasts

CNN's 7-hour town hall on climate change with 2020 White House contenders finished last among the three cable news networks in terms of average total viewers, according to early numbers from Nielsen Media Research. 

CNN averaged 1.1 million viewers from 5 p.m. to midnight, the hours devoted to back-to-back town halls by 10 Democratic contenders.

MSNBC finished second with 1.7 million total viewers during the time period, with Fox News winning the time period with an average of 2.5 million. Both channels provided regular programming on Wednesday night. 

 
It featured 10 Democratic candidates: Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang's wife, Evelyn Yang, calls for 'big structural change' at 4th annual Women's March DNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisParnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE (D-Minn.), former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger pens op-ed in defense of Biden: 'I stuttered once, too. I dare you to mock me' MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record The Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Environmental activists interrupt Buttigieg in New Hampshire Pence to visit Iowa days before caucuses MORE (D-Mass.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Environmental activists interrupt Buttigieg in New Hampshire Pence to visit Iowa days before caucuses MORE (D), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial DNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders, Warren feud rattles Democrats MORE (D-N.J.). 
 
During the 8 p.m.-11 p.m. hours of prime time, Fox News averaged 3.2 million total viewers, placing first. MSNBC was second with a 2.2 million average and CNN third with 1.4 million. 
 
However the average 1.4 million tuning in to CNN for the event was well above its average in primetime in 2019.
 
CNN hosted the climate change event amid increased attention being devoted to the subject during the Democratic primary.
 
The Democratic National Committee has come under criticism by climate change activists for not scheduling a debate solely dedicated to the topic.