Week of Dec. 7 Basic Cable Ranker: Fox News Is No. 1 in Total Viewers, CNN Holds Strong at No. 1 Among Adults 25-54

By A.J. Katz 

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Fox News averaged the most total viewers on all of cable television last week in prime time, and also moved back up to No. 1 in total viewers across the 24-hour day.

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen for the week of Dec. 7, Fox News garnered nearly 2.8 million prime time viewers last week. That’s improvement from the prior week of Nov. 30 (+2%). The network also averaged nearly 1.4 million viewers in total day, which is +7% from the prior week. After a less than stellar post-election period (by Fox News standards), the network has now posted back-to-back weeks of total audience growth. Among adults 25-54, FNC was +3% in total day (203,000), but -8% in prime time (378,000) vs. the prior week.

Relative to the week of Dec. 9 2019, (which featured presidential impeachment hearings), FNC numbers were down. The network was -9% in total prime time viewers, -18% in the prime time demo, -23% in total day viewers, and -31% in the total day demo.

Fox News shows comprised 11 of the top 20 cable telecasts of the week in total viewers and delivered 11 telecasts with over 3 million viewers.

Tucker Carlson moved past Rachel Maddow into the No. 1 spot in total viewers this past week, as his Tucker Carlson Tonight averaged 3.6 million total last week. The Rachel Maddow Show averaged 3.5 million total, No. 2 overall, and her’s was the No. 1 show of the week among adults 25-54 (549,000). CNN’s Chris Cuomo had the No. 2 cable news show among adults 25-54 (543,000), only behind TRMS. Sean Hannity had the No. 3 show of the week cable news in total viewers, behind Carlson and Maddow, averaging 3.3 million total viewers.

CNN continued its hot streak in attracting the advertiser-preferred adults 25-54 demographic, not just across the total day, but also in the key prime time daypart. CNN dominated in the demo last month, and has continued to attract A25-54 viewers through December, as viewers turn to the network for its wall-to-wall coverage of the pandemic.

Compared to the prior week, CNN saw declines across various measurements. The network was -4% in total prime time viewers, -5% in the prime time demo, -1% in total day viewers and -4% in the total day demo. However, compared to the same week in 2019, numbers remain through the roof: +103% in total prime time viewers, +106% in the prime time demo, +79% in total day total viewers, and +71% in the total day demo.

MSNBC dropped to No. 2 in total viewers across the 24-hour day, behind Fox News. NBC’s politics-focused cable newser remains No. 2 across basic cable in total prime time viewership.

Relative to the week of Nov. 30, NBC’s politics-focused cable newser was -4% in total prime time viewers, -2% in the prime time demo, -4% in total day viewers, and -5% in total day demo. Relative to the same week in 2019, MSNBC remains strong, benefiting from a Biden win and in-depth coverage of the pandemic. Year-over-year, the network was +35% in total prime time viewers, +29% in the prime time demo, +31% in total day viewers, and +26% in the total day demo.

Week of Dec. 7, Monday-Sunday:

PRIME TIME Fox News CNN MSNBC
• Total Viewers: 2,762,000 1,815,000 2,155,000
• A25-54: 378,000 441,000 321,000

 

 

 

TOTAL DAY Fox News CNN MSNBC
• Total Viewers: 1,374,000 1,220,000 1,293,000
• A25-54: 203,000 282,000 187,000

 

 

 

Week of Dec. 7 cable ranker (total viewers)

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