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Co-hosts of Fox News Channel’s popular “The Five” program are likely to savor a history-making milestone the network announced this week for the entirety of their careers. According to a statement from the FNC, “The Five” has become the first non-primetime cable news offering to become the most-watched in total viewers.
Airing at 5 PM/ET, the show blew away all other daytime and primetime programming on both CNN and MSNBC, garnering cable news’ largest audience in 2022 with 3,432,000 viewers and 465,000 in the coveted 25-54 age group that advertisers seek.
“FNC’s The Five continued to smash records this year. For the first time in television history, a non-primetime cable program closed out the year as cable’s most-watched in total viewers,” a Fox Media Relations report noted, adding:
FOX News Channel (FNC) notched its seventh year as leader in all of cable television while delivering the third highest-rated year ever in cable news history for 2022 in total day viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. The network’s programs continued to break new ratings records throughout the year, resulting in FNC continuing as the number one cable network in primetime and total day in viewers in basic cable for the seventh consecutive year and the highest-rated cable news network for the 21st straight year.
In primetime, FNC averaged 2,330,000 total viewers, 346,000 in the 25-54 demo and 214,000 in the 18-49 demo. In total day, FNC was the only network to post increases versus 2021, delivering 1,489,000 total viewers, 231,000 in the 25-54 demo and 141,000 in the 18-49 demo. FNC trounced CNN and MSNBC combined in primetime and total day across both categories, finishing the year as the only cable news network to notch more than 2 million in primetime viewers and 1 million in total day viewers.
FNC programs made up 92 of the top 100 cable news shows during 2022. Notably, CNN and MSNBC each saw their lowest-rated years of all time in total day with the younger A25-54 demo. According to data from Nielsen/MRI Fusion, FNC also attracted the most politically diverse audience in cable news with more Democrats, Independents and Republicans tuning into FNC than any other network in total viewers and the younger A25-54 demo.
This year, FNC had its second highest share of the cable news audience in its history with 53% in total day in the 25-54 demo. FNC also drew 55% of the primetime audience in total viewers.
The press release also contained viewership figures for the year:
Nielsen Cable News Ratings for 2022 (12/27/21-12/13/22) vs. 2021 (12/28/20-12/26/21)
FNC: 2,330,000 P2+ (down 1%); 346,000 25-54 (down 7%)
CNN: 730,000 P2+ (down 33%); 174,000 25-54 (down 36%)
MSNBC: 1,208,000 P2+ (down 21%); 133,000 25-54 (down 39%)
FNC: 1,489,000 P2+ (up 12%); 231,000 25-54 (up 3%)
CNN: 568,000 P2+ (down 27%); 123,000 25-54 (down 35%)
MSNBC: 733,000 P2+ (down 19%); 83,000 25-54 (down 35%)
“From America’s choice on election night to the home of late night’s smash hit show, 2022 was a testament to our unmatched skill in delivering the most innovative news and opinion programming to our audience which continues to rank as the most politically diverse in cable news. “I am beyond proud of our entire team’s incredible achievements this year,” Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott said.
The Five’s achievement is only the latest milestone for the red-hot cable news outlet. Last week, the network noted that Fox News Sunday host Shannon Bream, who took over permanently for Chris Wallace after he left earlier this year for a failed CNN+ gig, was the only Sunday news host to increase her audience in the important 25-54 demo.
“It’s been an honor to join the tradition of Fox News Sunday, and we’re all about bringing new people to join us in the conversation,” she told the Washington Secrets column at the Washington Examiner. “It’s a privilege to be in folks’ homes every Sunday, and we’re glad they’ve found reasons to keep coming back,” she added.
The network had more positive ratings news last month.
“Fox News’s Sean Hannity scored second place in the ratings Thursday in the key 25-54 age demographic. Hannity raked in 515,000 demo viewers at 9 p.m., just behind Tucker Carlson’s 587,000 demo viewers,” Mediaite reported.
“Carlson often lands on top in the demo, but it is rare for Hannity to surpass The Five, which came in sixth place Thursday behind Jesse Watters, Laura Ingraham, and Greg Gutfeld. Hannity also returned to the top three in terms of total viewers, behind The Five and Tucker Carlson Tonight, which scored first and second place in the ratings — respectively,” the outlet added.