Another quarter, another massive number of viewers flocking to Fox News Channel.
FNC was the most-watched channel across both total day and prime time among all of basic cable during the 3rd quarter of 2020, marking 17 consecutive quarters as No. 1 in total viewers in total day.
Here are the ratings for Q3, 2020 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):
- Prime time (Mon-Sun): 3,507,000 total viewers / 595,000 A25-54
- Total Day (Mon-Sun): 1,751,000 total viewers / 302,000 A25-54
How does the network’s Q3 2020 performance rate against that of other relevant quarters? It’s -2% in total prime time viewers, -11% in total day viewers, -5% in the prime time demo, and -17% in total day demo vs. the second quarter of 2020. To be fair, Q2 ’20 was an extremely news-heavy quarter, featuring wall to wall coverage of the pandemic and protests of police brutality, just to name a couple.
The year-over-year trends are far more favorable for Fox News. After all, Q3 2019 did precede a presidential election. FNC is +44% in total prime time viewers, +28% in total day viewers, +63% in the prime time demo and +31% in total day demo viewers in Q3 ’20 vs. Q3 ’19.
How do Q3 2020 ratings compare with Q3 2016 ratings? FNC is +44% in total prime time viewers, +24% in total day viewers, +30% in the prime time demo and +9% in the total day demo. Great numbers relative to the most recent Q3 of an election year.
During Q3 FNC claimed 6 of the top 8 cable news programs in viewers, as well as 7 of the top 9 in the 25-54 demo.
Programming-wise, it was Hannity leading the charge in Q3, averaging 4,45 million viewers and 775,000 in the A25-54 demo. The show marked its highest-rated quarter in history in both viewers and in the key 25-54 demographic. Yes, the program was lifted by Trump rallies and the 2020 RNC, but it averaged huge audiences on non-special event evenings as well.
Tucker Carlson Tonight was the No. 1 cable news show for Q3 among adults 25-54, averaging 781,000. The program surpassed its competitors in the 8 p.m. ET timeslot combined, averaging 4.35 million total viewers in the 8 p.m. hour.
Both Hannity and Tucker Carlson Tonight once against averaged over 4 million viewers for an entire quarter for the third consecutive quarter.
On the Fox Business front, the network earned its highest-rated Q3 in network history across Business Day (216,000 / +31 YoY) and Total Day (153,000 / +30% YoY).
FNC had its No. 1 September in network history in total viewers across total day and prime time.
The network was +50% in total prime time viewers, +34% in total day viewers, +75% in the prime time demo, and +41% in the total day demo vs. September 2019. How about relative to August 2020, a month which featured two political conventions? FNC was flat in total prime time viewers, +3% in total viewers, -4% in the prime time demo, and flat in the total day demo.
According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, Fox News was the No. 1 network in all of TV in prime time total viewers (3.6 million) for the month. This is live-plus-same-day data, not taking delayed data into account.
The ratings for Sept. 2020 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):
- Prime time (Mon-Sun): 3,625,000 total viewers / 612,000 A25-54
- Total Day (Mon-Sun): 1,834,000 total viewers / 314,000 A25-54
Tucker Carlson Tonight was the No. 1 show on cable news for September 2020, averaging 4.6 million viewers and 841,000 in the A25-54 demo. The program also ended September with its highest-rated month in viewers.
Hannity followed suit with 4.5 million viewers and 766,000 in the demo, and finished with its second-best month in program history among total viewers. Both programs delivered over 4 million viewers for the 8th consecutive month.