August ’22 Ratings: Fox News Remains Most-Watched Network, Sees Growth Aided by FBI Mar-a-Lago Search Coverage

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News Channel finished August 2022 as the most-watched network on cable television, both in total day and in primetime. No surprise there.

Not only did it rank No. 1 in total viewers, it also gained viewers from July, with the month-to-month lift driven by live coverage of the FBI search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month.

FNC is completing its 19th consecutive month as the most-watched basic cable network in total day, averaging 1.49 million total day viewers in Aug. 2022, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. Fox also averaged 211,000 adults 25-54 in total day for August. Compared to the previous month of July, Fox News gained +10% in total day viewers and +9% in the total day demo. How about Fox News primetime? The network remains far and away No. 1 in cable news, averaging 2.34 million in the daypart for the month of August, a gain of  +10% in total primetime viewers. FNC also averaged 311,000 adults 25-54 in primetime this month, a +7% gain from July.


How did Fox News fare relative to August 2021? The story is mixed. The network gained +5% in total day viewers but lost -11% in the total day demo. The network also shed -6% in total primetime viewers and -21% in the primetime demo. Wall to wall coverage of the Afghanistan exit crisis in Aug. 2021 explains some of the year-over-year losses this month. Americans under-55 are far more likely to watch the news when the news cycle is busy (Afghanistan coverage) versus when it’s not, whereas there’s historically less of a viewership drop-off among older audiences, regardless of news cycle.

Additionally, Fox Business beat CNBC in total business day viewers for the fifth consecutive month, led by Lawrence Kudlow‘s 4 p.m. show. However, FBN continued to come up short to CNBC (which doesn’t use Nielsen ratings outside of primetime) in the key A25-54 demo and during total day.

The average Nielsen live plus same day impressions for August ’22:

  • Prime time (Mon.-Sun.): 2,337,000 total viewers / 311,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon.-Sun.): 1,487,000 total viewers /211,000 A25-54

On the programming front, The Five continued to make history, finishing the month of August as the most-watched cable news show for the fifth consecutive month and eight out of the past nine months. The roundtable talk program averaged 3.4 million total viewers—and 427,000 in the 25-54 demo at 5 p.m. At 8 p.m., Tucker Carlson Tonight completed the month as the top-rated program among adults 25-54, averaging 486,000 in the measurement—and finishing No. 2 in total viewers with a 3.3 million average.

Additionally, Fox News delivered the four-most-watched cable news shows and the top 15 of the top 16 cable news programs in the 25-54 demo for the month of August 2022. Among those top cable news shows is Gutfeld! August marked the program’s highest-rated month since launching April 2021. Airing at 11 p.m. ET, the program also topped every show on CNN and MSNBC in the younger 25-54 demo (358,000 A25-54, 2.19 million total viewers).