More Total Viewers Tuned Into Fox News For Pres. Trump’s Address on Border Security and Government Shutdown Than Every Other Cable Network

By A.J. Katz Comment

More Americans flocked to Fox News Channel for coverage of President Trump’s address on border security, as well as the Democratic party response from Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer, than the competition.

Neither NBC nor CBS have released audience figures as of publication time, 3:31 p.m. ET.

*UPDATE (4:47 p.m. ET) – Nielsen data for CBS and NBC’s respective broadcasts has been made available. At this point in time, CBS was the No. 1 network in total viewers for coverage of President Trump’s address, averaging nearly 8.1 million total viewers from 9 – 9:30 p.m. ET. That’s slightly more than Fox News’ delivery during the same time period. 

For whatever it’s worth, NCIS was the CBS News Special Report’s lead-in, and it’s traditionally the most-watched show on Tuesday evenings.

NBC was the No. 1 network among adults 25-54 for coverage of the address and response, averaging 2.75 million demo viewers from 9 – 9:25 p.m. ET.

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President Trump spoke for about 9 1/2 minutes (9:01:35 p.m. – 9:11:10 p.m. ET) on Tuesday evening, while the Democrats spoke for just under 5 minutes (9:14:25 – 9:19:15 p.m. ET).

Below is early, fast national data from Nielsen:

Cable News Viewership (9-9:30 p.m. ET)

  • Fox News: 8,043,000 total viewers / 1,870,000 A25-54
  • MSNBC: 4,243,000 total viewers / 811,000 A25-54
  • CNN: 3,566,000 total viewers / 1,385,000 A25-54
  • FBN: 234,000 total viewers / 38,000 A25-54

Fox News defeated its cable news competition combined in total viewers. CNN gave Fox News more of a fight in the A25-54 and A18-34 demos, but Fox News still won by those categories by a notable margin.

Broadcast Network Viewership (Total Viewers / A25-54)

  • CBS: 8,092,000 / 1,709,000 (9 – 9:30 p.m. ET)
  • NBC: 7,400,000 / 2,753,000 (9-9:25 p.m. ET)
  • ABC: 5,463,000 / 1,790,000 (9-9:20 p.m. ET)
  • Fox: 2,961,000 / 1,297,000 (9-9:20 p.m. ET)
  • Univision: 1,700,000

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Below is final live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen:

Cable News Viewership (9-9:30 p.m. ET)

  • Fox News: 8,044,000 total viewers / 1,870,000 A25-54
  • MSNBC: 4,243,000 total viewers / 811,000 A25-54
  • CNN: 3,571,000 total viewers / 1,388,000 A25-54
  • FBN: 234,000 total viewers / N/A

Broadcast Network Viewership (Total Viewers / A25-54)

  • CBS: 8,043,000 / 1,625,000 (9 – 9:30 p.m. ET)
  • NBC: 7,400,000 / 2,753,000 (9-9:25 p.m. ET)
  • ABC: 5,463,000 / 1,790,000 (9-9:20 p.m. ET)
  • Fox: 2,961,000 / 1,297,000 (9-9:20 p.m. ET)
  • Univision: 1,700,000 /  781,000
  • Telemundo: 1,400,000 / 610,000

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If you rank all of the networks by how many viewers they drew in the 9 – 9:30 p.m. ET interval (even the networks who stopped covering the address before 9:30 p.m. ET), here’s what you get, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data:

(9-9:30 p.m. ET)

Fox News: 8,044,000 total viewers / 1,870,000 25-54

CBS: 8,043,000 total viewers / 1,625,000 25-54

NBC: 7,030,000 total viewers / 2,758,000 25-54

ABC: 4,432,000 total viewers / 1,621,000 25-54

MSNBC: 4,243,000 total viewers / 811,000 25-54

CNN: 3,571,000 total viewers / 1,388,000 25-54

FOX: 2,562,000 total viewers / 1,172,000 25-54

UNI: 1,700,000 total viewers / 781,000 25-54

TEL: 1,400,000 total viewers / 610,000 25-54

FBN: 234,000 total viewers / 38,000 25-54

Additionally, if you go back and look at that fast national data from Nielsen, broken down by quarter-hour, some interesting trends arise:

TOTAL VIEWERS

9 – 9:15 p.m. / 9:15 – 9:30 p.m. ET

  • Fox News:  8,221,000 / 7,864,000
  • CNN: 3,390,000 / 3,742,000
  • MSNBC: 4,025,000 / 4,461,000

A chunk of the total audience who tuned into President Trump’s address on Fox News during the first quarter-hour left the network after he completed his speech, and before the Democrats’ response. This was not true on MSNBC or CNN. More total viewers turned on their TVs to those respective networks after the president ended his address. We’ll let you come to your own conclusions as to why.

ADULTS 25-54

9 – 9:15 p.m. / 9:15 – 9:30 p.m. ET

  • Fox News: 1,912,000  / 1,829,000
  • CNN:  1,294,000 / 1,476,000
  • MSNBC:  731,000 / 891,000

On CNN and on MSNBC, more A25-54 viewers watched the Democratic response and post-address analysis than President Trump’s address. The opposite was true on Fox News, with viewership dropping off a bit after the president spoke.

ADULTS 18-34

9 – 9:15 p.m. / 9:15 – 9:30 p.m. ET

  • Fox News:  489,000 / 436,000
  • CNN: 363,000  / 404,000
  • MSNBC:  142,000 / 174,000

The trend was similar among millennials who watched on TV (yes, some of them still watch TV!). More adults 18-34 tuned into CNN or MSNBC after the president was done speaking to watch the Democrats response.

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