Aug. ’21 Ratings: Top-Ranked Fox News Posts Ratings Growth From July, Driven by Afghanistan Coverage

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News remained the most-watched network in all of basic cable in August 2021, and swept the cable news competition in both total day and primetime total viewers, along with adults 25-54, yet again.

Breaking news coverage of the conflict in Afghanistan gave Fox News a ratings lift in August, relative to July 2021. The network averaged more than 2.47 million total primetime viewers for August, which is +16% from July. The network averaged 394,000 viewers from the primetime demo (+18% from July), 1.42 million total day viewers (+20% from July), and 238,000 viewers from the total day demo (+18% from July). That’s more growth than its CNN and MSNBC competition.

Compared to Aug. 2020, Fox News saw losses. The network shed -32% of its average total primetime audience, -38% of its audience from the primetime demo, one-fifth of its total day audience, and -24% of its audience from the total day demo. To be fair, Aug. 2020 featured pandemic and presidential election campaign coverage (including the highly-rated 2020 Republican National Convention) events which attracted significant audiences. Ratings were always going to be down from the year-ago month, even with breaking news concerning Afghanistan.


The average Nielsen live plus same day impressions for Aug. 2021:

  • Prime time (Mon.-Sun.): 2,474,000 total viewers / 394,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon.-Sun.): 1,420,000 total viewers /238,000 A25-54

On the regularly-scheduled programming front — Tucker Carlson Tonight completed the month as the No. 1 cable news program in its timeslot in all categories, averaging over 3.3 million viewers and 551,000 in the 25-54 demo. The Five improved to No. 2 for the month in average total viewers (3.11 million), followed by Hannity (3.01 million), The Ingraham Angle (2.36 million) and Special Report with Bret Baier (2.19 million) rounding out the top five most-watched cable news shows for August. Among adults 25-54, Tucker Carlson remained No. 1 (561,000), followed by Hannity (503,000), The Five (480,000), The Ingraham Angle (410,000) and Special Report (349,000). The top-rated non-Fox News show in the demo is MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (No. 10 – 272,000).

Fox Business’ post-market program Kudlow, which launched earlier this year, ended August with its second-most-watched month ever, averaging 192,000 total viewers in the 4 p.m. ET hour.