Q1 2022 Ratings: Fox News Remains No. 1 and Only Cable News Network to Post Year-Over-Year Gains

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News Channel kicked off 2022 as it ended 2021: the most-watched network on all of basic cable.

FNC averaged the largest total day and primetime audience on cable last quarter, with nearly 1.61 million viewers in total day and 2.55 million viewers in prime time. The network also averaged 429,000 adults 25-54 in primetime and 283,000 adults 25-54 in total day, No. 2 on basic cable (behind ESPN), according to live plus same day data from Nielsen for Q1 2022.

Fox’s huge ratings this past quarter were primarily due to live breaking news coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—and the resultant humanitarian crisis. The coverage hit a fever pitch in late-February/early-March, when the invasion transpired and in the days immediately after.


Fox News gained viewers from the prior quarter (Q4 ’21), up +8% in average total primetime viewers, +17% in the primetime demo, +12% in total day viewers and +19% in the total day demo.

Unlike its competitors, Fox gained viewers relative to Q1 2021. The network grew +3% in total primetime viewers, +10% in the primetime demo, +22% in total day viewers and +28% in total day demo. Q1 ’21 was an outlier quarter for Fox, one where it finished behind CNN and MSNBC in total day viewing for the first time in decades. Things appear to have returned to normal on the cable news Nielsen ratings front.

Below are the Q1 2022 Nielsen live+same-day numbers:

  • Prime Time (Mon-Sun): 2,554,000 Total Viewers / 429,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun):  1,613,000 Total Viewers / 283,000 A25-54

FNC delivered 97 of the 100 most-watched cable news programs for the quarter—and 14 of the 15 most-watched. The network also delivered nine of the top 15 programs in the 25-54 demo.

The Five completed the quarter as the most-watched show on cable news (3.7 million at 5 p.m.) marking back-to-back quarters at No. 1 in total viewers; a cable news record. The Five was followed by Tucker Carlson Tonight at 8 p.m. (3.62 million), Jesse Watters Primetime at 7 p.m. (3.12 million), Hannity at 9 p.m. (3.06 million) and Special Report with Bret Baier at 6 p.m. (2.72 million). Carlson’s primetime program took first place among adults 25-54 (626,000).

Additionally, Fox News’ late-night program Gutfeld! averaged nearly 2 million total viewers from 11 p.m.-12 a.m.

During the first quarter of 2022, all FNC weekday programs posted increases with total viewers and the 25-54 demo.