Fox News Q2 2020 Ratings: Tucker Carlson Averaged 4.33 Million Viewers at 8 p.m., the Largest Audience in Cable News History

By A.J. Katz 

Live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen is rolling in, and it appears Fox News Channel will have its most-watched quarter in network history, averaging more viewers than Q1 2020, and even more than during the 9/11 and Iraq War eras.

Not only did FNC set records in total viewership—averaging 3.57 million viewers in prime time and 1.96 million in total day—but the network scored its highest-rated demo since Q3 2005 (Hurricane Katrina) in total day and Q4 2016 (the most recent presidential election) in prime time.

Compared to Q2 of last year, Fox News saw a +50% improvement in total prime-time viewership and +67% gain in the key A25-54 demo. In total day, the network was +48% in Total Viewers and +61% in the demo. Compared to Q1 of this year, which had been Fox News’ most-watched quarter in network history, FNC was +6% in in total prime-time viewers and +7% in the prime-time demo, +1% in total day viewers and +2% in the total day demo.


Here are Fox News’ ratings for Q2 of 2020:

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun): 3,574,000 total viewers / 624,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun):  1,958,000 total viewers / 366,000 A25-54

Tucker Carlson Tonight was the story of the quarter from a programming perspective. Prior to 2020, it would have been farfetched to think any cable newser would deliver a larger audience than Bill O’Reilly had been drawing during his prime at Fox News. However, we’re in the midst of an extraordinary time, and Sean Hannity and Carlson managed to set cable news ratings records in back-to-back quarters this year. Carlson’s 8 p.m. offering averaged 4.33 million total viewers in Q2, the highest viewership in cable news history, breaking the previously held record by FNC’s Hannity last quarter.

Hannity had a pretty good quarter in his own right, averaging 4.31 million total viewers in the 9 p.m. hour, No. 2 on cable news.

Each of the network’s evening and prime-time shows averaged their largest audiences for a quarter ever, including The Ingraham Angle at 10 p.m. Additionally, Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner (1 p.m.), The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino (2 p.m.) and the network’s Saturday prime-time slate of Watters World, Justice with Judge Jeanine and the Greg Gutfeld Show were other Fox News shows that set records in total viewership and adults 25-54 viewership.

Lastly, Fox Business Network averaged its largest Business Day audience for a quarter in network history, averaging 255,000 total Business Day viewers in Q2 2020, +62% compared to second quarter 2019.