Fox Retains Commanding Lead Over Cable Rivals


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Fox News saw its share of viewers dip significantly after executives decided to suddenly take its star, Tucker Carlson, off the air in late April, but the network appears to have rebounded nicely in the months since.

In the week ending on Friday, Aug. 25, the Fox News Channel garnered an average of 1.5 viewers during the day, compared to 1.42 million for far-left MSNBC and liberal-leaning CNN, with 1.28 million.

Fox also led in primetime, thanks, in large part, to a pair of hosts — Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld.

In the 8 p.m. EDT slot, Watters averaged around 2.16 million versus 860,000 for Anderson Cooper on CNN and 1.42 million for MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. In the 10 p.m. EDT slot, Gutfeld ran away from CNN’s “Primetime” and MSNBC’s “Last Word” featuring Lawrence O’Donnell with 1.8 million, 607,000, and 1.5 million viewers on average, respectively.

Fox News, in general, appears to be rebounding after suffering a loss of more than a million viewers per day following the network’s decision to sideline Carlson.


The network revamped its prime-time lineup, handing Carlson’s old slot to Watters while moving Laura Ingraham to an earlier slot along with Gutfeld and keeping Sean Hannity at 9 p.m. EDT where he’s been for decades.

According to the previous cable news TV ratings, the decisions appeared to be paying off: Both Watters and Gutfeld have been dominating their slots over rivals at MSNBC and CNN, and it’s not close as Fox begins to retake the offensive the cable news wars.

Watters ended July with the top two rated shows on cable news in terms of total viewers: “The Five” and “Jesse Watters Prime Time.” Gutfeld, meanwhile, came in third place overall with his show Gutfeld! at 10 p.m. bringing in 1.983 million total viewers; he is also a co-host of “The Five.”

Last month, Fox reclaimed its previous position as the top-rated network on cable television, leading in both primetime and total day viewership. In the 25-54 demographic for total day viewership, it ranked second, with ESPN holding the top position.

The network also maintained its dominance for 29 consecutive months in both total day and primetime total viewership, outperforming its competitors. In primetime viewership, Fox News came close to surpassing the combined viewership of CNN and MSNBC.

A press release from Fox said:


FNC’s 5 PM/ET roundtable program The Five which has been number one in viewership for seven consecutive quarters, continued its streak with both categories, securing 2,591,000 viewers and 254,000 with A25-54. Evening newscast Special Report with Bret Baier (weeknights, 6 PM/ET) averaged 1,743,000 million viewers and 164,000 in the 25-54 demo.

FNC’s new weekday primetime lineup which debuted on Monday, July 17th, beat the cable news competition across the board with viewers and the younger A25-54 demo. From 7-11 PM/ET, FNC averaged 2,160,000 viewers and 211,000 in A25-54, sweeping CNN and MSNBC in all categories, winning combined in total viewers and more than tripling CNN in overall viewership.

Finishing the month as the highest-rated primetime lineup in all of cable, FNC is the only cable network to average over 1.5 million viewers in primetime. Notably, the new primetime lineup increased FNC’s share of the cable news audience versus the prior month from 41% to 48% in total viewers and from 34% to 42% with A25-54.

Kicking off the new lineup at 7 PM/ET, The Ingraham Angle garnered 1,926,000 million viewers and 174,000 in the 25-54 demo, continuing host Laura Ingraham’s streak as the most-watched woman in cable news.

Following at 8 PM/ET, Jesse Watters Primetime garnered 2,403,000 viewers and 207,000 with A25-54, making it the highest-rated program in primetime viewers and second overall behind only The Five. The program grew the timeslot nearly 50% versus the prior month and posted double and triple digit advantages over the competition on CNN and MSNBC.

FNC’s Hannity which remained at 9 PM/ET scored 2,161,000 viewers, 201,000 in the 25-54 demo, achieving the third most-watched program in all categories, outpacing the competition on MSNBC and CNN combined with total viewers.

Comparatively, CNN’s newly launched The Source with Kaitlan Collins averaged just 558,000 viewers and 109,000 with A25-54 at 9 PM/ET.

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