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 YangBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity Yang says he would decriminalize opiates, as well as marijuana MORE, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Defense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE (D-Minn.), former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Defense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument MORE (D-Mass.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Poll: Biden leads Democratic field by 10 points in Florida CNN announces details for LGBTQ town hall MORE (D), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity CNN announces details for LGBTQ town hall 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.