Keep Trying, Zuckerville: Fox News Still Leads Cable News Ratings War

December 8th, 2020 7:46 PM

On the heels of having gleefully achieved their desired outcome in the presidential election and less-than-flattering Project Veritas videos, the Jeffrey Zucker-micromanaged CNN has spent the last week on a victory lap, touting their November ratings as up 135 percent in total viewers and 209 percent in the 25-54 demo (which CNN acted as though was the only worthwhile measurement).

In a digital ad and under their farcical banner of “#FactsFirst,” CNN claimed that they’ve become “the most watched[SIC] cable network.” But like most things with the most poisonous name in news, the facts weren’t on their side.

But when it comes to whether more people watched CNN than longtime ratings king Fox News, CNN can keep dreaming as FNC marked its 227th month as the most-watched cable news channel with 1.94 million total viewers versus CNN’s 1.78 million. And in all of cable television, FNC’s number placed it in first place for the 53rd month in a row.

If CNN wants to hang its hat on anything (which wasn’t saying much), it’s separated itself from fellow far-left outfit MSNBC, who had just over 1.5 million total viewers.

CNN should savor its time in the spotlight (or what little there’s left) as MSNBC named Rashida Jones as its new executive on Monday. And last week, MSNBC garnered headlines for naming Jonathan Capehart and Tiffany Cross as Joy Reid’s replacements for her old weekend slot.

But back to FNC’s ratings. In both of the consistently important times of a news cycle (morning and primetime), an FNC press release revealed first-place finishes for Fox & Friends First (693,000 total viewers and 142,000 in 25-54 demo) and Fox & Friends (1.8 million total viewers and 374,000 for 25-54).

In a tweet from our friend RoadMN measuring November ratings across 77 shows on seven cable news channels, Fox & Friends First finished one spot ahead of MSNBC competitor Way Too Early with Kasie Hunt and four spots clear of CNN’s Early Start.

And for Fox & Friends, they finished five spots above MSNBC’s Morning Joe and 11 ahead of CNN’s New Day.

In primetime, it was a blowout with FNC rivaling (and besting) the broadcast networks. Here were some highlights from the FNC press release (click “expand”):

FNC also saw its highest-rated November on record in primetime across total viewers and in the key 25-54 demographic. November also marked the 11th consecutive month this year that the network has finished number one in all of cable across primetime total viewers led by Tucker Carlson Tonight at 8PM/ET. Surpassing every broadcast network aside from FOX in total viewers, FNC continues to outpace NBC, CBS, and ABC in addition to the cable news competition in weekday primetime, an ongoing streak since Memorial Day. Additionally, the network edged out broadcast network CBS in the key 25-54 demographic in weekday primetime.


Many of FNC’s programs, as well as the network’s entire primetime lineup, delivered their highest-rated month in the 25-54 demographic ever, including Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity, The Ingraham Angle, FOX News @ Night with anchor Shannon Bream and FOX & Friends


FNC’s primetime powerhouse lineup swept the top spots in cable news across the board and the weekday lineup surpassed broadcast in weekday primetime summer to date. At 8PM/ET, FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight continues to make cable news history, marking the first time that a cable news program delivered over 5 million viewers for two consecutive months. The 8PM/ET program was also the highest-rated for the month in total viewers with 5.1 million, 1,018,000 in the 25-54 demographic, and 702,000 in the 18-49 demo....At 9PM/ET, Hannity was the number one-rated program in the key 25-54 demographic, averaging over 1 million viewers (1,046,000) for the first time in program history and followed as the second most-watched program in cable news, notching 4,982,000 total viewers and 718,000 in the 18-49 demo. Additionally, both programs marked 10 straight months of surpassing 4 million viewers overall. In total viewers, Tucker Carlson Tonight and Hannity surpassed NBC Nightly News airing on Sundays, ABC’s The Bachelorette, The Conners, Big Sky, Million Little Things, The Good Doctor and America’s Funniest Home Videos, as well as NCIS New Orleans, The Amazing Race and Face The Nation airing on CBS.

If CNN wanted to truthfully claim that it’s the most-watched cable channel, it had an uphill battle as FNC leads all channels in primetime. Yes, every single channel on the dial.

Since Memorial Day weekend, Nielsen Research has shown the Fox News Channel with 4.312 million viewers in primetime versus 3.868 on NBC, 3.483 million for CBS, 3.396 million on ABC, and the Fox broadcast network at 3.007 million.

And when looking at the year to date ratings, Fox News had a 68 percent advantage over CNN in total viewers and 13 percent in 25-54. When compared to MSNBC, FNC had a 54 percent lead in total viewers and 75 percent in the 25-54 demographic.

So while they declare victory in the 25-54 demo (558,000 versus 413,000), Zuckerville might want to have its ducks in a row before claiming that they’re the most-watched cable news channel and in cable overall.