April 2020 Ratings: Fox News Delivers Its Most-Watched Month Ever in Prime Time

By A.J. Katz Comment

Lifted by wall-to-wall coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, to go with live coverage of the White House coronavirus task force briefings each day, Fox News finished April 2020 with the largest monthly audience in network history in prime time and the second-largest monthly audience in total day, only behind April 2003 Iraq War coverage.

FNC was also the most-watched cable network across both total day and prime time, marking 46 consecutive months in the top spot across all of cable in total day viewers. The network also scored its highest-rated A25-54 demo performance in total day since November 2016 election coverage.

Versus its April 2019 ratings, a month without daily coronavirus briefings for the network to televise, Fox News wraps up April 2020 +54% in total prime-time viewers, +66% in total day viewers. The year-over-year comparison in the demo was more impressive, which makes sense considering breaking news usually brings younger viewers to cable news. In April 2020, FNC finishes +72% in the prime-time demo and +84% in the total day demo versus April 2019.

Versus its March 2020 performance, the network was +1% in total prime-time viewers, +6% in total day viewers, +5% in the total day demo, but -1% in the prime-time demo. Not EVERYTHING was perfect from a ratings perspective.

The average Nielsen live + same day impressions for April 2020:

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun): 3,681,000 total viewers / 671,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 2,237,000 total viewers / 448,000 A25-54

FNC claimed 12 of the top 15 cable news programs in Total Viewers, and the top six programs in the A25-54 demo. Additionally, most of the network’s early evening and prime-time programs delivered their largest monthly audiences ever in both Total Viewers and the key demo. Again, ratings in these dayparts have been driven by the daily coronavirus task force briefings, which, on weekdays, usually take up the entirety of Bret Baier‘s 6 p.m. hour, as well as before and after. It’s no surprise, then, that Special Report and The Story with Martha MacCallum (7 p.m.) had their top months ever. The Five, Tucker Carlson Tonight, and The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino set viewership records, as did newer shows like Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner, and Bill Hemmer Reports.

Special Report was technically the No. 1 program on cable news for April.

Outside of the 5-8 p.m. ET hours, which is when the briefings usually take place, Tucker Carlson Tonight was the No. 1 program on prime-time cable news for April, edging Hannity in Total Viewers and in the key A25-54 demo.

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