Fox News Runs Its Streak to 20 Consecutive Weeks at No. 1 in Total Day

By A.J. Katz 

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Fox News continues to attract millions of viewers across a 24-hour span, and the week of May 21 was no different.

Cable news’s most-watched network finished the week No. 1 in total day viewers across basic cable for the 20th consecutive time, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data.  In total day, FNC averaged 1.3 million in total viewers and 268,000 in the 25-54 demographic.

The network was home to 11 of the top 30 cable telecasts in total viewers with presentations of Hannity, The Ingraham Angle, and Tucker Carlson Tonight. Hannity also made up four of the top 15 cable telecasts in total viewers.

With the NBA playoffs thriving in 2018, Fox News slipped to third place in total prime time viewers, averaging 2.3 million in the daypart, and finished No. 5 in the prime time demo (445,000). Neither MSNBC (No. 17) nor CNN (No. 25) finished close to FNC in the prime time demo.

ESPN averaged an impressive 4.75 million prime time viewers last week, easily No. 1 across basic cable. The worldwide leader in sports televised the Eastern Conference Finals last week featuring the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers against the Boston Celtics, a series which to the Cavs in 7 games. A 7-game series is always good for ratings.

TNT finished No. 2 in total prime time viewers last week with 2.82 million thanks to its prime time coverage of the Western Conference Finals featuring the Steph Curry-led Golden State Warriors, and the James Harden-led Houston Rockets. Golden State also won in 7 games.

MSNBC finished behind Fox News in total prime time viewers, coming in at No. 4, while CNN fell to No. 14 in prime time viewers. Fox, as mentioned, finished first in total day, while MSNBC (No. 5) and CNN (No. 9) also scored spots in the basic cable top 10 for total day.

Here’s a look at the basic cable top 5 for the week of May 21, followed by basic cable network rankers sorted by total viewers and by adults 25-54:

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)

  1. ESPN (4,748,000)
  2. TNT (2,820,000)
  3. Fox News (2,279,000)
  4. MSNBC (1,485,000)
  5. USA (1,411,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,336,000)
  2. ESPN (1,116,000)
  3. TNT (975,000)
  4. Nickelodeon (875,000)
  5. MSNBC (836,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime Time (A25-54)

  1. ESPN (2,253,000)
  2. TNT (1,301,000)
  3. TBS (541,000)
  4. USA (540,000)
  5. Fox News (445,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (A25-54)

  1. ESPN (554,000)
  2. TNT (461,000)
  3. Investigation Discovery (299,000)
  4. Fox News (268,000)
  5. USA (243,000)


Basic Cable Ranker: Week of May 21 (Total Viewers)

Basic Cable Ranker: Week of May 21 (A25-54)