Below are March 2023 Nielsen ratings for Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, followed by a duo of full basic cable network audience rankers.
Fox News Channel:
Fox News is finishing March 2023 as it did February 2023, as the most-watched basic cable network in total day and in primetime. FNC averaged 1.32 million total day viewers in March, making it the most-watched basic cable network in total day. Fox News was also the most-watched basic cable network in primetime for March (2.09 million), and marked 25 consecutive months as the top-rated cable news network in total viewers and among Adults 25-54.
When it comes to Adults 25-54, Fox News averaged 162,000 in total day (No. 3 behind ESPN and TBS) and 245,000 in primetime (No. 4 behind TBS, ESPN, TNT and FS1 — which carried Men’s/Women’s March Madness and the World Baseball Classic, respectively).
This is according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data for the month of March 2023.
Despite dominating its competition, Fox News saw losses from February, dropping by -8% in total day viewers—and -14% in the total day A25-54 demo, -7% in average total primetime viewers and -18% in the A25-54 demo.
In terms of individual program performance, Tucker Carlson Tonight broke The Five’s 11-month streak as the most-watched cable news program. The program averaged 3.25 million total viewers in the month of March at 8 p.m. The Five dropped to second, averaging 3.06 million viewers at 5 p.m. Jesse Watters Primetime (2.67 million), Hannity (2.505 million) and Special Report with Bret Baier (2.20 million) rounding out the top five in total viewers. Tucker Carlson Tonight remained the top-rated cable news show in March among adults 25-54 (421,000).
For the second consecutive month, FNC had the top 15 cable news shows in the A25-54 demo. It had the top 10 cable news shows in average total viewers.
MSNBC is the third-most-watched basic cable network in primetime for March 2023. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the network averaged 1.135 million total viewers in the daypart, only fewer than Fox News and March Madness-carrying TBS. MSNBC also averaged 701,000 total day viewers in March, No. 2 on basic cable in total day again only behind Fox News.
In addition to ranking No. 3 in total primetime viewers and No. 2 in total day viewers, MSNBC ranked tied for No. 27 in the primetime demo with Reelz (107,000) and tied for No. 18 in the total day demo with FX (78,000).
Relative to the prior month (Feb. 2023), NBCU’s politics-focused cable network shed -3% in total primetime viewers—and -10% among adults 25-54. The network dropped -1% in total day viewers—and -3% in the total day demo from February.
In regard to programming performance, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was MSNBC’s most watched-show, averaging 1.45 million viewers at 10 p.m.; No. 11 on all of cable news. The Beat with Ari Melber was the network’s top-rated show in March among adults 25-54 (137,000 / No. 16 overall).
According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data for March 2023, CNN averaged 473,000 total primetime viewers, No. 16 on basic cable, and 425, 000 total day viewers, No. 6 on basic cable. The network also averaged 100,000 adults 25-54 in primetime, No. 31 on basic cable, and 83,000 adults 25-54 in total day, No. 14 on basic cable.
Those are poor numbers by CNN standards.
Relative to the prior month (Feb. 2023), CNN shed -19% in total primetime viewers—and -18% among adults 25-54, -10% in total day viewers—and -7% among adults 25-54 in total day.
CNN fell short to MSNBC in the primetime demo, but beat them in the total day demo.
From an individual programming perspective, Anderson Cooper 360 is the network’s most-watched show (635,000; tied for No. 26) while Erin Burnett Outfront was the network’s top show among adults 25-54 (128,000; No. 21 overall).
March 2023 cable news network ratings (Nielsen live plus same day data)
|• Total Viewers:||2,094,000||1,135,000||473,000||113,000||96,000|
|TOTAL DAY||Fox News||MSNBC||CNN||Newsmax||NewsNation|
|• Total Viewers:||1,319,000||701,000||425,000||90,000||96,000|