Fox News had the best quarter in cable news history, thanks in large part to its flagship program, The O'Reilly Factor, which had the biggest quarter ever for a cable news show (4 million viewers). MSNBC, CNN and Fox were all mostly up in daily audience and demo numbers. While MSNBC beat out CNN on the weekdays, thanks to record-breaking viewership of Rachel Maddow during the 9:00 p.m. hour, CNN still beat out MSNBC in viewership for the quarter.

Why it matters: Even though Fox pulled out the biggest overall numbers, MSNBC's growth from Q1 last year is notable. Per The Hollywood Reporter, MSNBC grew 55% and 61% in daytime and primetime, respectively, and 40% and 49% in the demo. CNN grew only 13% in daytime (+22% in the demo) but fell 17% in primetime (-11% in the demo). Fox's growth was in between with gains of 27% in daytime ratings (+32% in the demo) and 20% in primetime (+19% in the demo)

Why it doesn't matter: The fact that all three networks were up in total daily viewership means the Trump bump wasn't exclusive to the election. Per Pew, all three networks have experienced ratings bumps since 2015, meaning that cable news could be increasing in viewership more broadly.

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Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 33,867,247 — Total deaths: 1,012,341 — Total recoveries: 23,537,059Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 7,229,319 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: The coronavirus' alarming impact on the body.
  5. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  6. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Ina Fried, author of Login
3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook removes Trump ads tying refugees to COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday that it was removing a series of ads from President Trump's campaign that linked American acceptance of refugees with increased coronavirus risk, a connection Facebook says is without merit.

Why it matters: The ads were pulled after they received thousands of impressions and are a sign that the Trump campaign continues to test the limits of social media rules on false information.

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.