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FOX News Channel Reigns as Top-Rated Network in Both Total Day and Primetime Viewers in All of Basic Cable in July

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Business Wire
Jul 27, 2021
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FOX News Channel (FNC) completed the month of July as the most-watched network in all of basic cable, sweeping the competition in total day and primetime total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Between 8-11 PM/ET, FNC delivered 2.1 million viewers, 333,000 in the 25-54 demographic, and 199,000 with A18-49. In total day, FNC garnered 1.2 million viewers, 201,000 with the key 25-54 demo and 120,000 with A18-49. The network also claimed eight of the top 10 cable news programs in overall viewers, 14 of the top 17 with A25-54 and comprised 61 of the top 100 cable telecasts for the month.

Notably, CNN’s viewership fell to new lows since the start of the year, notching its lowest-rated month in total day demo since September 2014. In primetime, CNN lost over half its audience since the start of the year, down 68 percent in total viewers and 76 percent in the demo. In total day, CNN again plummeted by 69 percent in overall viewers and saw 76 percent declines in the demo. Meanwhile, MSNBC also lost over half its audience in all categories since January 2021 to date, as FNC remains the top-rated cable news network year-to-date in both total day and primetime total viewers. Additionally, FNC was down the least in cable news in both categories across the board (down only 17 percent in primetime total viewers; 21 percent in primetime demo and down just 13 percent in total day viewers; 17 percent in total day demo), easily retaining the most audience since the start of the year.

At 8 PM/ET, Tucker Carlson Tonight completed the month as the top-rated program in its timeslot in all categories, averaging over 3 million viewers and 520,000 in the 25-54 demo, as well as 319,000 in the 18-49 category. Hannity at 9 PM/ET followed suit in both categories, averaging 2.7 million viewers in July, 422,000 in the 25-54 demo and 252,000 among adults 18-49, and surpassing timeslot competitors MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time in both categories. The Ingraham Angle at 10 PM/ET garnered 2.1 million viewers, 347,000 in the 25-54 demo and 200,000 in 18-49 for the quarter, edging out MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show in both younger demos for the month.

Host Greg Gutfeld’s new late night program Gutfeld! finished the month as the number one-rated show in cable news in total viewers at 11 PM/ET, surpassing every CNN program in total viewers as well as various broadcast and cable comedy shows. Meanwhile, timeslot competitor MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams notched the program’s lowest-rated month in the demo since the show’s inception. In Nielsen’s Live+3 measurement, Gutfeld! delivered wins against ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! and NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in total viewers. Averaging 1.5 million viewers and 290,000 with A25-54 for the month, the program also topped The Tonight Show in total viewers in the Live+SD measurement. Gutfeld! crushed TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee across the board in total viewers and the younger 25-54 demo in both Live+SD and Live+3.

Among FNC’s early and late evening programming, The Five, which marked its 10 year anniversary, dominated the month during the 5 PM/ET hour with 2.5 million viewers and 359,000 in the 25-54 demo, besting every CNN and MSNBC program across the board. FNC’s primetime programs Tucker Carlson Tonight and Hannity, as well as The Five, surpassed ABC’s The View and This Week in overall viewers. Special Report with Bret Baier was number one in its timeslot (weeknights, 6 PM/ET) among total viewers for the month, garnering 1.8 million viewers and 283,000 in the 25-54 demo. At 7 PM/ET, FOX News Primetime, guest-hosted by various rotating hosts, averaged 1.7 million viewers, 289,000 in the 25-54 demo throughout July. Notably, MSNBC’s The Reidout with host Joy Reid delivered the program’s lowest-rated month in total viewers in program history. At 12 AM/ET, FOX News @ Night with Shannon Bream had an average audience of 833,000 viewers and 179,000 in the 25-54 demo.

From 4-6 AM/ET, FOX & Friends FIRST garnered 439,000 viewers. FNC’s FOX & Friends (weekdays, 6-9 AM/ET) marked its fourth straight month as the top-rated cable news morning show across the board, with 1.1 million viewers and 200,000 in the demo, easily outpacing CNN’s New Day and MSNBC’s Morning Joe across both categories. Meanwhile, CNN’s sixth relaunch attempt of New Day delivered its lowest-rated month in the demo since 2014, averaging less than 500,000 viewers (450,000 P2+; 84,000 A25-54) and notching double-digit losses across the board. CNN’s morning news program was the least-watched program in all of cable news in the demo between the hours of 6 AM -12 AM/ET.

FNC’s daytime lineup, kicking off with two-hour morning news program America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino (weekdays, 9-11 AM/ET), saw 1.3 million viewers and 230,000 in the 25-54 demo. The Faulkner Focus at 11 AM/ET, anchored by Harris Faulkner, also notched 1.3 million viewers and 217,000 in the 25-54 demo and bested CNN and MSNBC across the board. At 12 PM/ET, Outnumbered earned 1.4 million viewers and 228,000 in the demo. From 1-3 PM/ET, America Reports with John Roberts and Sandra Smith garnered 1.2 million viewers and 205,000 in the 25-54 demo. At 3 PM/ET, anchor Martha MacCallum’s The Story averaged 1.2 million viewers and 199,000 in the 25-54 demo, while Your World with Neil Cavuto at 4 PM/ET also nabbed 1.2 million viewers and 198,000 in the 25-54 category for the quarter.

On the weekends, Saturday’s primetime powerhouse lineup swept their respective timeslots and earned the top three highest-rated programs, beating the cable news competition combined in both total viewers and in the demo for the month. FNC’s newest addition to the Saturday primetime lineup, Unfiltered with Dan Bongino (Saturdays at 10 PM/ET), crushed its cable news competitors, besting CNN and MSNBC combined in total viewers. The program delivered 1.3 million viewers and 202,000 with A25-54. Watters’ World (Saturdays at 8 PM/ET) earned the number one program in total viewers, with 1.5 million and 180,000 in the demo. Justice with Judge Jeanine (Saturdays at 9 PM/ET) followed as the next most-watched, also with 1.5 million viewers and 164,000 in the demo. CAVUTO Live airing on Saturday mornings earned 1.1 million viewers and 189,000 with A25-54.

On Sundays, FNC’s Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo (Sundays at 10 AM/ET) earned the top-rated spot in both total viewers and the coveted 25-54 category during July, with 1.6 million viewers and 228,000 in the demo. MediaBuzz, hosted by Howard Kurtz at 11 AM/ET, delivered 1.3 million viewers and the next most-watched program in the 25-54 demo, with 218,000, outpacing CNN’s Reliable Sources across the board and a 40 percent advantage over CNN in both categories. In July, the CNN program recorded its lowest-rated month in the demo for the year and its second lowest in overall viewers, averaging only 902,000 viewers and 154,000 with A25-54. Reliable Sources plummeted double digits across the board, shedding half its viewership and 60 percent in the demo since the start of the calendar year. FNC’s newest program on Sunday evenings, Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy (Sundays at 7 PM/ET), demolished every CNN and MSNBC program in total viewers, drawing an audience of 1.3 million viewers and 156,000 in the 25-54 demo. At 8 PM/ET, Life Liberty and Levin earned 1.4 million viewers and 161,000 in the demo, while The Next Revolution with host Steve Hilton (Sundays at 9 PM/ET) secured 1.2 million viewers and 139,000 in the demo. FOX & Friends Weekend (weekends from 6-10 AM/ET) dominated CNN and MSNBC every hour in both categories for the month, earning 1.1 million viewers and 192,000 in the demo. Additionally, FOX Report with Jon Scott (1 million viewers; 142,000 A25-54) surpassed the cable news competition in its time slot.

JULY 2021 RATINGS FOR THE TOP FIVE PROGRAMS IN CABLE NEWS:

Total Viewers: Tucker Carlson Tonight (3,023,000), Hannity (2,697,000), The Five (2,528,000), The Rachel Maddow Show (2,295,000), The Ingraham Angle (2,071,000)
Adults 25-54: Tucker Carlson Tonight (520,000), Hannity (422,000), The Five (359,000), The Ingraham Angle (347,000), The Rachel Maddow Show (302,000)

JULY 2021 VS. JULY 2020 NIELSEN NUMBERS (seven day week, L+SD):

TOTAL DAY

FNC: 1,186,000 total viewers – down 27% (201,000 in 25-54 – down 27%)
CNN: 596,000 total viewers – down 40% (125,000 in 25-54 – down 50%)
MSNBC: 772,000 total viewers – down 35% (103,000 in 25-54 – down 41%)

PRIMETIME

FNC: 2,124,000 total viewers – down 34% (333,000 in 25-54 – down 36%)
CNN: 856,000 total viewers – down 43% (190,000 in 25-54 – down 52%)
MSNBC: 1,312,000 total viewers – down 37% (168,000 in 25-54 – down 44%)

FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking news as well as political and business news. The number one network in cable, FNC has been the most watched television news channel for more than 19 consecutive years. According to a 2020 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index report, FOX News is the top brand in the country for morning and evening news coverage. A 2019 Suffolk University poll also named FOX News as the most trusted source for television news or commentary, while a 2019 Brand Keys Emotion Engagement Analysis survey found that FOX News was the most trusted cable news brand. Owned by FOX Corp, FNC is available in 80 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top ten programs in the genre.

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