Fox News Was the No. 1 Cable News Network on Friday for Breaking News Coverage of the Mueller Report

By A.J. Katz 

Americans flocked to cable and broadcast news just after 5 p.m. ET when it was announced that Special counsel Robert Mueller had submitted his report to U.S. attorney general Bill Barr concerning potential Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign and whether President Trump or his campaign team was involved with any election meddling.

Out of the cable newsers, Fox News was easily the most popular destination for coverage of the breaking news on Friday.

According to early Nielsen data, FNC’s special coverage of when the Mueller news broke from 5-6 p.m. ET averaged 2.3 million in total viewers and 364,000 in the dem,  beating MSNBC (1.7 million total viewers / 248,000 A25-54 viewers) and CNN (1 million total viewers / 291,000 demo viewers).

Special Coverage (5 – 6 p.m. ET):

• Total Viewers:  2,315,000   1,718,000  1,036,000
• A25-54: 364,000  248,000 291,000




Fox News finished No. 1 when it came to extended special coverage from from 5 – 11 p.m. ET with 2.5 million in total viewers and 446,000 in the 25-54 demo, while CNN averaged 963,000 total viewers and MSNBC averaged 2 million total viewers.

Extended coverage (5 – 11 p.m. ET):

• Total Viewers: 2,519,000   2,028,000  963,000
• A25-54: 446,000 360,000 297,000




In prime time, FNC garnered nearly 3 million in total viewers and 514,000 in the demo, making it the highest Friday prime time average in both total viewers and the demo for the year. FNC was up +36 percent in total viewers versus the same time last year and up +37 percent in the demo vs. the comparable day in 2018.

Friday, March 22 (Prime time)

• Total Viewers: 2,922,000  2,234,000 944,000
• A25-54: 514,000 418,000 285,000




Fast forward to Sunday – Attorney General Bill Barr released a four-page summary stating that after a 22 month investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in regard to potential meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Broadcast and cable news Nielsen ratings for Sunday afternoon coverage of Barr’s announcement will likely be released either this evening or Tuesday morning.