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Q2 2022 Ratings: Fox News Holds Steady as Most-Watched Network on Basic Cable

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News Channel was the most-watched network on all of basic cable both in primetime and in total day for the second quarter of 2022. FNC also marked its 82nd consecutive quarter averaging more total viewers in primetime than its main cable news competitors.

According to live plus same day data from Nielsen for Q2 2022, FNC averaged 1.45 million total viewers in total day and 2.27 million total viewers in prime time. The network also averaged 345,000 adults 25-54 in primetime and 229,000 adults 25-54 in total day, No. 3 on basic cable (behind NBA-focused networks TNT and ESPN).

Fox News shed viewers from the prior quarter (Q1 ’22), down -11% in average total primetime viewers, -20% in the primetime demo, -10% in total day viewers and -19% in the total day demo. For context, Fox (and the other major cable newsers) attracted larger-than-usual audiences in Q1 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. Ratings were bound to drop and did.

Unlike its competitors, Fox gained viewers relative to the prior second quarter (Q2 2021). The network grew +4% in total primetime viewers, +22% in total day viewers and +12% in the total day demo. The network did shed -1% in the primetime demo from Q2 ’21.

Below are the Q2 2022 Nielsen live+same-day numbers:

  • Prime Time (Mon-Sun): 2,267,000 Total Viewers / 345,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun):  1,450,000 Total Viewers / 229,000 A25-54

On the programming front, Fox News delivered the eight-most-watched shows on cable news and the top 15 in the advertiser-preferred A25-54 demo for second quarter.

The Five completed the quarter as the most-watched show on cable news (3.3 million at 5 p.m.) marking three consecutive quarters No. 1 in total viewers; a cable news record and a remarkable feat for a non-primetime show. Tucker Carlson Tonight at 8 p.m. (3.23 million) was the second-most-watched cable news show in Q2, followed by Hannity at 9 p.m. (2.73 million), Jesse Watters Primetime at 7 p.m. (2.69 million) and Special Report with Bret Baier at 6 p.m. (2.46 million). Carlson’s primetime program took first place among adults 25-54 (522,000).

Fox News’ late-night program Gutfeld! averaged nearly 2 million total viewers and 344,000 adults 25-54 from 11 p.m.-12 a.m., its most-watched quarter in series history.

Finally, Fox Business delivered its most-watched quarter in business day since 2020, averaging 219,000 viewers in the weekday 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ET daypart.