Here Are Fox News, MSNBC and CNN Ratings for January 2023

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News Channel:

Fox News opened 2023 as it closed 2022, as the most-watched basic cable network in total day, averaging 1.35 million total viewers from 6 a.m.-6 a.m. and marking 23 consecutive months at No. 1. in the daypart.

This is according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data for the month of January 2023.


In addition to averaging 1.35 million total day viewers in January, the network also averaged 173,000 adults 25-54 in total day, No. 2 on basic cable behind ESPN.

While the numbers are quite strong relative to the competition, the trend is mixed. Compared to the month of December, Fox News gained +3% in total day viewers—and lost -14% in the total day A25-54 demo.

How about Fox News primetime? In addition to placing at No. 2 on all of basic cable in total viewers (behind only ESPN), the network remains far and away No. 1 in cable news, averaging 1.95 million viewers in the daypart — a +1% gain from December. Additionally in January, FNC averaged 239,000 adults 25-54 in primetime, which happens to be No. 2 on basic cable but is actually -19% from what the network averaged in December.

Relative to January of last year, Fox News shed -5% in total day viewers and lost -23% in total day demo. The network also is -13% in total primetime viewers—and a whopping -29% in the primetime demo from the year-ago month.

Nevertheless, Fox News Channel marked its 23rd consecutive month averaging more viewers than any other cable news outlet.

In terms of individual program performance, The Five remained the most-watched show on all of cable news for the 10th consecutive month, averaging 3.38 million viewers during the 5 p.m. hour. Tucker Carlson Tonight (3.19 million), Jesse Watters Primetime (2.84 million), Hannity (2.57 million) and Special Report with Bret Baier (2.41 million). Tucker Carlson Tonight remained the top-rated cable news show in November among adults 25-54 (448,000). FNC had the top 14 shows in the demo, the top 13 in average total viewers, and a whopping 99 of the 100 most-watched cable news telecasts for the full month of January.


MSNBC is the third-most-watched basic cable network in primetime for January 2023. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the network averaged 1.05 million total viewers in the daypart, fewer than ESPN (3.38 million) and Fox News (1.95 million). MSNBC also averaged 703,000 total day viewers in January, No. 3 on basic cable in total day behind Fox News and ESPN.

Relative to the prior month (December ’22), NBCU’s politics-focused cable network fell by -17% in total primetime viewers—and -16% among adults 25-54. The network lost -9% in total day viewers and -9% in the total day demo from December. Compared to what MSNBC averaged in January of 2022, the network is -9% in total primetime viewers—and -16% in the primetime demo. While primetime was a struggle, MSNBC trended well in total day viewing,  +7% in total day viewers—and +5% in the key A25-54 demo.

In addition to ranking No. 3 in total primetime viewers and total day viewers, MSNBC ranked No. 26 in the primetime demo (109,000) and No. 20 in the total day demo (78,000) across basic cable.

In regard to programming performance, The Beat With Ari Melber was MSNBC’s most watched-show in January for the first time in its history, averaging more than 1.36 million viewers at 6 p.m.; No. 14 on all of cable news. The Beat was also the network’s top-rated show among adults 25-54 (147,000 / No. 20 overall). This goes to show MSNBC’s continued struggles in primetime. On a broader level, MSNBC continues to average fewer adults 25-54 than CNN, but a far larger total audience than its main cable news competitor.


According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data for January 2023, CNN averaged 629,000 total primetime viewers, No. 10 on basic cable, and 524,000 total day viewers, No. 4 on basic cable. The network also averaged 144,000 adults 25-54 in primetime, No. 20 on basic cable, and 107,000 adults 25-54 in total day, No. 10 on basic cable.

Those are pretty good numbers for CNN relative to comparable months.

Versus the prior month (December ’22), CNN is +10% in total primetime viewers—and -3% among adults 25-54, +6% in total day viewers—and -2% among adults 25-54 in total day. When it comes to CNN’s performance versus January 2022, the network is -1% in total primetime viewers—but +3% in the primetime demo, +6% in total day viewers—and +6% in the key A25-54 demo.

From an individual programming perspective,  Erin Burnett Outfront is the network’s most-watched show (821,000; No. 25) and No. 1 among adults 25-54 (193,000; No. 15 overall). Like MSNBC, CNN continues to see ratings issues in primetime.

January 2023 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

• Total Viewers: 1,946,000 1,047,000 629,000
• A25-54: 239,000 109,000 144,000




• Total Viewers: 1,349,000 703,000 524,000
• A25-54: 173,000 78,000 107,000




Here’s the basic cable rankers for Jan. 2023:

Jan. ’23 Basic Cable Ranker (Total Viewers)

Jan. ’23 Basic Cable Ranker (Adults 25-54)