Fox News and MSNBC Notch Rating Win After Trump Verdict

The jury was unanimous. But the cable news verdict was a split decision.

Viewers across the country rushed to television screens Thursday to learn the outcome of the Manhattan criminal case against former President Donald J. Trump.

Fox News got the most viewers for breaking coverage of the 34 allegations, drawing 4.7 million viewers from 5 to 6 p.m., according to Nielsen. That’s a huge number of viewers for a weekday afternoon and easily surpassed the audiences of CNN, MSNBC and broadcast networks that interspersed regular programming with special reports.

In the evening, after the news of the verdict, MSNBC’s audience increased. In an extremely rare prime-time win, the left-leaning channel overtook Fox News, the perennial No. 1 cable news station. 1. 1, both in terms of total viewers and adults ages 25-54, the most important demographic for advertisers.

From 8 to 11 p.m., MSNBC programs averaged 3.4 million viewers, surpassing Fox News’ 3.1 million. CNN averaged 1.3 million.