During the week of April 5, Fox News was the most-watched cable network and the top-rated cable news network in prime time and total day, averaging nearly 2.2 million viewers and 350,000 in the 25-54 demo during the 8-11 p.m. ET time period.
Tucker Carlson again averaged the largest audience on cable news for the week, delivering an average of 3 million total viewers and 514,000 in the demo.
In total day (6 a.m.-6 a.m. ET), FNC delivered nearly 1.2 million viewers and 206,000 in the 25-54 demographic.
Compared to the week of March 29, Fox News remained flat in total prime time viewers and lost -2% in the prime time demo. In total day, Fox News also remained flat in total viewers, but gained +1% among adults 25-54.
Year-over-year (week of March 30), Fox News dropped -38% of its total average prime time audience and was down -48% in the prime time demo. In total day, Fox News fell -47% in total viewers, and -55% in the demo. The falling numbers make sense, considering that all three networks a year ago featured daily coronavirus task force briefings. It won’t be surprising if Fox and its competitors continue to see ratings losses throughout the spring.
The second-most-watched network on all of basic cable, MSNBC, also saw ratings losses as the news cycle continues to calm. The network remained flat in total viewers in prime time, and dropped -3% in the demo. In total day, MSNBC shed -6% of total viewers, and -9% in the demo.
Versus the same week in 2020, MSNBC lost -17% of its average total prime time audience, -32% of its prime time demo audience, fell -24% in total day viewers and -36% in the total day demo.
CNN split second place with MSNBC in the demo across prime this week. The network remains third behind both Fox News and MSNBC in total viewers in prime and total day, but topped MSNBC in the demo for total day.
Compared to the prior week, CNN, like its competitors, remained flat in its average total prime time audience. The network dropped -16% in the prime time demo. In total day, the network lost-8% in total viewers, and -10% the key A25-54 demo. Compared to the same week the previous year, the network lost -45% of its average total prime time audience and dropped by -59% in the prime time demo. In total day, the network fell -45% in total viewers from last year, and dropped -53% in the total day demo.
The week of March 29, 2021, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):
|PRIME TIME||Fox News||MSNBC||CNN|
|• Total Viewers:||2,185,000||1,646,000||1,018,000|
|TOTAL DAY||Fox News||MSNBC||CNN|
|• Total Viewers:||1,195,000||959,000||752,000|
After Fox News and MSNBC in prime, HGTV, CNN, and TBS followed. Hallmark Channel, History, ESPN Food Network and Discovery Channel round out the top 10.
In total day viewership, it’s all cable news up top; after Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, comes HGTV, ESPN, Hallmark Channel, ID, Food Network, History and INSP in that order.
Week of April 5 Basic Cable Ranker (Total Viewers)
Among adults 25-54, TBS led the way, and was followed by Fox News, ESPN, HGTV, USA, TNT, Food Network, TLC, Discovery Channel and History. CNN and MSNBC did not make it, coming in at No. 13 and No. 15 in the prime time demo respectively.
In total day among adults 25-54, Fox News held the No. 1 slot, followed by TBS and ESPN. ID, CNN, HGTV, Food Network, TNT, USA and MSNBC rounded out the top 10.
Week of April 5 Basic Cable Ranker (Adults 25-54)