Week of Aug. 2 Cable Network Ranker: Fox News Remains No. 1, Posts Week-to-Week Audience Growth

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News Channel was the most-watched network during the week of August 2, both in total day and in primetime dayparts.

In addition to finishing No. 1 in total viewers, Fox News also finished No. 2 on basic cable in the A25-54 total day demo (after finishing No. 3 in that measurement the previous week). The network finished No. 2 on basic cable in the primetime A25-54 demo after finishing No. 6 in the measurement the previous week.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Fox News averaged 2.095 million total viewers and 305,000 in the 25-54 demo in primetime during the week of August 2. That’s +5% and +12%, respectively, from what the network averaged the prior week in those measurements. Fox News once again averaged more total primetime viewers last week than CNN and MSNBC combined.


Fox News averaged 1.19 million total viewers in total day (+6% from the prior week), marking 25 consecutive weeks as the most-watched cable news network in total day. The network also averaged 180,000 adults 25-54 in total day, which is also +6%  from the prior week.

Tucker Carlson Tonight remained the No. 1 show on cable news last week. Broadcasting from Hungary, the program averaged 2.9 million viewers, and 467,000 in the 25-54 demo. Fox News’ 8 p.m. offering averaged 2.9 million total viewers to go with 425,000 adults 25-54 the previous week.  Fox had the top _ shows on cable news in total viewers. After Carlson, came The Five, Hannity, The Ingraham Angle and Special Report with Bret Baier. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show finished No. 6 in average total viewers last week. Maddow was off last week, and TRMS was guest-hosted by different MSNBC newsers.

Speaking of MSNBC, the network finished No. 3 on basic cable in average total primetime audience this past week (1.04 million viewers) after coming in third the prior week. MSNBC finished No. 2 on basic cable in total day viewers (675,000) after finishing third the prior week. The network finished No. 24 in adults 25-54 during primetime (134,000), and No. 22 in adults 25-54 during total day (92,000).

Relative to the previous week, MSNBC shed -8% of its average total prime time audience, and -15% in the prime time demo. The network lost -10% in average total day audience, and -7% in the total day demo from the previous week.

CNN averaged 689,000 total viewers in prime time (No. 9 on basic cable), and 528,000 in total day (No. 5 on basic cable) during the week of August 2. When it came to adults 25-54, CNN finished No. 19 in primetime (150,000), and No. 15 in total day (110,000) last week.

How do those figures stack up against comparable weeks? CNN fell -2% in average total primetime viewers, but was flat in the primetime demo from the prior week.  CNN, like MSNBC, shed total day viewers (-5%), but was flat in the total day demo from the prior week.

CNN beat MSNBC in the total day and primetime demo, but fell short of its rival in primetime and total day viewers.

Week of July 26 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

• Total Viewers: 2,095,000 1,041,000 689,000
• A25-54: 305,000 134,000 150,000




• Total Viewers: 1,193,000 675,000 528,000
• A25-54: 180,000 92,000 110,000




How about the broader basic cable landscape?

When it came to average total viewers in primetime — after Fox News came USA, MSNBC, HGTV, INSP, TLC, Hallmark Channel, History, CNN and TBS. In total day, MSNBC finished second after Fox News, and was followed by USA, HGTV, CNN, ID, INSP, Hallmark Channel, Food Network and NBCSN.

Week of August 2 basic cable ranker (Total Viewers) 

Among adults 25-54, USA finished No. 1 both in primetime and total day. Following USA are Fox News, TLC, TBS, TNT, HGTV, Food Network, FX, History and Bravo. In total day demo rankings, the top 10 is: USA, Fox News, HGTV, ID, TNT, TBS, Food Network, NBCSN, ESPN and Nickelodeon.

Week of August 2 basic cable ranker (Adults 25-54)