Week of April 27 Basic Cable Ranker: Fox Is No. 1 on Basic Cable in Total Viewers and Among Adults 25-54

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News marked 17 straight weeks as the most-watched basic cable network in total day and 15 weeks in a row as the most-watched basic cable network in prime time, according to Nielsen Media Research.

During the week of April 27, FNC delivered nearly 2 million viewers and 348,000 in the 25-54 demo in total day. In prime time, Fox News garnered 3.7 million viewers and 597,000 in the A25-54 demo.

Throughout the week, FNC was the only cable news network up week to week.

The network was aided by its Sunday evening town hall with President Trump (America Together: Returning to Work), an event that drew nearly 4 million total viewers and 637,000 in the 25-54 demo. Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum co-moderated the live two-hour broadcast.

Hannity was the most-watched show on cable news, and the second most watched on cable, only behind the critically acclaimed ESPN docuseries The Last Dance.

Tucker Carlson Tonight scored the top spot in cable news among the A25-54 demo, with 718,000 demo viewers and 4.2 million total viewers.

Notably, FNC earned the five-most-watched telecasts in cable news.

MSNBC edged CNN as the second-most-watched basic cable network in prime time, while CNN beat MSNBC in total day viewers (million versus 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, CNN averaged 404,000 Adults 25-54 in prime time and 278,000 in total day. MSNBC averaged 285,000 Adults 25-54 in prime time and 180,000 in total day.

Unlike its competitors, Fox News posted audience growth from the prior week (w/o April 26) in prime time: +10%. The network was -2% in total day viewers. FNC was +7% week to week in prime time, but -6% in the total day demo.

CNN and MSNBC, on the other hand, were down in key measurements. MSNBC was -7% in prime-time viewers, -8% in total day viewers, -7% in the prime-time demo and -13% in the total day demo. CNN posted the most significant week-to-week losses: -12% in total prime-time viewers, -12% in total day viewers, -16% in the prime-time demo and -14% in the total day demo.

Year over year, all three networks continued to draw significant audiences. CNN was +108% in total prime-time viewers and +88% in total day viewers. Fox News was +48% year over year in prime time and +38% in total day. MSNBC was +4% in prime time and +17% in total day.

Cooking and home improvement-themed outlets HGTV, Food Network and TLC were the top non-cable news networks in average total day viewers and in prime-time viewers for the week of April 27. Not a surprising result, with so many Americans still at home.

Of his culinary and home improvement networks, Discovery chief David Zaslav recently said, “We’re the new sports” during the pandemic. Considering the lack of appointment television options without sports, he might be right.

Basic cable ranker: Week of April 27 (Total Viewers)

In Adults 25-54:

Basic cable ranker: Week of April 27 (Adults 25-54)

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