Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Aug. 5

By A.J. Katz Comment

Fox News was the most-watched basic cable network this past week in prime time, and marked its 31st consecutive week as the most-watched basic cable network in the 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. time period.

Additionally, the network managed to post year-over-year growth in total audience, and was also among the top 4 cable networks for both total day and prime time among the A25-54 demo.

Tucker Carlson Tonight was the No. 1 show in cable news last week, moving past Hannity.

The week was a chaotic one for Carlson, something which may have actually added to the ratings success of his program, which typically finishes in second. On Tuesday, he claimed on his 8 p.m. broadcast that white supremacy is “not a real problem in America,” and also claimed that it a “hoax” that’s being used to divide people.

The remarks yielded significant backlash from talking heads on rival networks and social media the following day.

Carlson announced the following night on his program that he was taking several days off, “headed to the wilderness to fish with my son…Politics is important, fishing with your son, sometimes more important. So I’m doing it.”

Carlson will return to the 8 p.m. hour next Monday, Aug. 19.

Fox News had a strong week, ratings-wise, and posted year-over-year growth. MSNBC maintained its status as the second-most-watched network on all of basic cable TV, despite posting year-over-year losses. CNN was down a bit year-over-year as well. However, it also earned a top 10 ranking in prime time (No. 8), and a top 5 ranking in total day viewers (No.5).

CNN defeated MSNBC in the A25-54 demo, both during prime time and the 6 a – 6 a dayparts, while MSNBC defeated CNN in total viewers.

When compared with the same week in 2018, Fox News was +10% in total prime time viewers. MSNBC as -11% in total prime time viewers, while CNN was -7% in the same daypart. In total day, Fox was +5%, MSNBC was -5% and CNN was -3%.

Cable News Week of Aug. 5 (Total Viewers)
Fox News: Prime Time (2,410,000) and Total Day (1,349,000)
MSNBC: Prime Time (1,558,000) and Total Day (933,000)
CNN: Prime Time (920,000) and Total Day (651,000)

Cable News Week of Aug. 5 (Adults 25-54)
Fox News: Prime Time (386,000) and Total Day (240,000)
CNN: Prime Time (237,000) and Total Day (153,000)
MSNBC: Prime Time (233,000) and Total Day (137,000)

Source: Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. 8/5/2019 – 08/11/2019. M-Su 8p-11p / M-Su 6a-6a

Basic cable ranker: Week of Aug. 5 (Total Viewers)