Week of April 13 Basic Cable Ranker: Fox News Is Most-Watched for 15 Straight Weeks, While MSNBC and CNN Post Week-to-Week Growth

By A.J. Katz Comment

For the week of April 13, Fox News remained at the top of the basic cable heap, averaging 2.3 million viewers in total day and 3.8 million viewers in prime time.

In addition to marking 15 straight weeks as the most-watched network in total day, and 13 straight weeks at No. 1 in total prime-time viewers, FNC marked five straight weeks at No. 1 in both Total Viewers and in Adults 25-54.

FNC continued to beat the cable news competition in Total Viewers and the key demo during last week’s White House coronavirus task force press briefings, as expected. The majority of the briefings have been airing in the 5, 6 and 7 p.m. ET hours, and the network averaged 5.8 million viewers in the 6 p.m. hour last week.

Tucker Carlson finished ahead of Hannity past week, not only in Adults 25-54 (which was also the case the previous week), but also in Total Viewers. Tucker Carlson Tonight averaged a whopping 4.8 million viewers, while Hannity averaged a solid 4.4 million viewers.

MSNBC edged CNN as the second-most-watched basic cable network in prime time (2.1 million versus 1.95 million). On the other hand, CNN beat MSNBC in total day viewers (1.37 million versus 1.31 million), and averaged more Adults 25-54 than MSNBC in prime time and total day.

Speaking of Adults 25-54, the key demo for advertisers, Fox News averaged 684,000 Adults 25-54 in prime time and 448,000 A25-54 in total day. CNN averaged 567,000 Adults 25-54 in prime time and 384,000 in total day. MSNBC averaged 339,000 Adults 25-54 in prime time,and 218,000 in total day.

The three major cable newsers posted Total Viewers growth from the prior week (w/o April 6). Fox News was +7% in prime-time viewers and +3% in total day viewers. MSNBC was +5% in prime=time viewers +4% in total day viewers. CNN also posted week-to-week prime-time viewer growth (+6%) and was flat in total day.

Among adults 25-54, Fox News was +2% in prime time, but -1% in total day. MSNBC was +1% in prime time and +2% in total day. CNN was +2% in prime time, but -4% in total day.

The story was even more positive when it came to a year-over-year ratings trend, as expected.

CNN was a whopping +136% in total prime-time viewers and +122% in total day viewers. The year-over-year growth was a little less extreme. Fox News was +43% year-over-year in prime time and +55% in total day. MSNBC was +12% in prime time and +25% in total day.

That week included wall-to-wall coverage of the Mueller report findings, as well as a Fox News town hall featuring Sen. Bernie Sanders.

With so many Americans now at home, TV’s most popular networks this moment are of the news and home improvement variety. The Nielsen ratings are proof, per below.

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (3,799,000)
  2. MSNBC (2,092,000)
  3. CNN (1,951,000)
  4. HGTV (1,363,000)
  5. TLC (1,153,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,301,000)
  2. CNN (1,365,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,314,000)
  4. HGTV (819,000)
  5. Food Network (628,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of April 13 (Total Viewers)

Basic cable ranker: Week of April 13 (Adults 25-54)

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