June 2020 Cable News Ratings: Fox News Averaged a Larger Audience in Prime Time Than Any Other U.S. TV Network

By A.J. Katz 

For cable news, the “best-ofs” weren’t exclusive to second-quarter 2020. Fox News, CNN and MSNBC also put up monthly ratings records for June.

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, Fox News finished the month of June 2020 by averaging the most total viewers of any network on television in prime time. Yes, that includes broadcast as well.

By averaging 3.63 million prime-time viewers and 1.79 million total day viewers in June, Fox News is the only cable news network that remains up year to year for every month in 2020 to date.

Hannity averaged the most viewers of any cable news show in June (4.3 million), with 792,000 from the key demo. Tucker Carlson Tonight was the top cable news show among adults 25-54 (799,000) and averaged nearly 4.3 million viewers, slightly fewer than Hannity’s monthly delivery. Hannity was the second-most-watched cable news show of the month in A25-54 viewers.

The Ingraham Angle, The Five and MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show rounded out cable news top 5 shows of the month in Total Viewers.

FNC’s Saturday night opinion block of Watters’ World, Justice with Judge Jeanine, and The Greg Gutfeld Show all earned their highest-rated months in both categories since program launch. Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream also set a monthly average audience record in June. Each show won its respective time slot.

CNN had its best June in history in total day and prime time among both total viewers and adults 25-54. In total day, CNN also beat MSNBC in the key A25-54 demo in total day for the seventh straight month, growing the most in cable news, up +159% from a year ago. Lifted by the barrage of breaking news, CNN was also +115% in total viewers from June 2019.

In prime time, CNN had its best June in history in total viewers and the demo, averaging 1.89 million total viewers (+146% year over year) and 560,000 A25-54 viewers (+206% year over year) in the daypart.

And in dayside (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.), CNN was No. 1 on all of basic cable in June, for the third consecutive month in A25-54.

Key CNN programs had their best June in history, including the prime-time trio of Anderson Cooper 360, Cuomo Prime Time and CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, late afternoon/early evening shows The Lead with Jake Tapper, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, and Erin Burnett Outfront, as well as the network’s 7-year-old morning show New Day, hosted by John Berman and Alisyn Camerota.

Cuomo Prime Time (641,000) and AC360 (617,000) were the No. 4- and No. 5-ranked cable news shows of the month among adults 25-54, trailing only Fox News’ prime-time trio of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity and The Ingraham Angle (719,000).

CNN may have defeated MSNBC in the key A25-54 demo this past month, but MSNBC averaged more viewers in total.

As is traditionally the case, Rachel Maddow led the way for MSNBC in the ratings department. Her’s was the fifth-most-watched show on cable news for June, averaging 3.11 million total viewers.

Morning Joe and Deadline: White House also had standout months for MSNBC. The network’s long-running morning show achieved a June audience record, while the Nicolle Wallace-led offering was the most-watched cable news show in the 4 p.m. hour.

Prime Time (Mon-Sun, 8-11 p.m.) / June 2020 vs. June 2019 % Change

  • Fox News: 3,634,000 total viewers – +53% (660,000 in 25-54 – +85%)
  • MSNBC: 2,055,000 total viewers – +21% (321,000 in 25-54 – +25%)
  • CNN: 1,855,000 total viewers – +146% (557,000 in 25-54 – +206%)

Total Day (Mon-Sun, 6 a.m.-6 a.m.) / June 2020 vs. June 2019 % Change

  • Fox News: 1,793,000 total viewers – +39% (335,000 in 25-54 – +58%)
  • MSNBC: 1,209,000 total viewers – +38% (191,000 in 25-54 – +52%)
  • CNN: 1,141,000 total viewers – +115% (326,000 in 25-54 – +159%)
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