Week of Feb. 14 Cable Ranker: Fox News Continues to Average Most Viewers on All of Cable TV

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News Channel and TNT split the basic cable Nielsen ratings race for the week of Feb. 14, with FNC averaging the largest total audience in primetime and total day—and TNT hauling in the most adults 25-54 in primetime and total day.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Fox News averaged 2.46 million total viewers in primetime this past week, which is most on basic cable and +3% from the previous week. FNC averaged 353,000 adults 25-54 in primetime, which is -4% from the week prior and No. 3 on all of basic cable behind TNT (994,000) and ESPN (355,000).

Additionally, Fox News averaged 1.55 million total viewers in total day during the week of Feb. 14, making it the most-watched network on basic cable in the Monday-Sunday 6 a.m.-6 a.m. time period yet again. The 1.55 million total viewer average for the week is +3% from what the network averaged the prior week—and the largest average audience in the daypart, year to-date.

Additionally, Fox News averaged 244,000 adults 25-54 in total day this past week, placing it at No. 2 on basic cable (behind TNT) and +3% from the prior week. Fox News also averaged more total viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined for the 27th consecutive week.

That said, CNN and MSNBC did manage to post some growth in Total Viewers from the previous week.

MSNBC earned the No. 3 ranking on basic cable in total primetime viewers and moved up to No. 2 in total day viewers. The network averaged 1.08 million total viewers in primetime (+5% from the prior week) and 659,000 viewers in total day (+6% from the prior week). MSNBC averaged 114,000 adults 25-54 in primetime (flat week-to-week) and 67,000 adults 25-54 in total day (flat week to week). The network fell to No. 33 among the primetime demo and No. 31 among the total day demo during the week of Feb. 7.

MSNBC beat CNN in average total viewers, but fell short to CNN when it came to drawing adults 25-54.

CNN averaged 571,000 total viewers in primetime, a solid +16% from the prior week. On the downside, the network averaged just 121,000 viewers from the primetime demo, the smallest A25-54 audience for a non-holiday week since 2014. Additionally, CNN averaged 484,000 total viewers in total day (+9% week to week)—No. 7 on basic cable—and 99,000 adults 25-54 in total day (+8% week to week), placing it at No. 19 on basic cable.

CNN beat MSNBC in primetime and total day among adults 25-54, but fell short in total viewers.

Fox News’ audience has returned in full force after those Q1 ’21 struggles in total day. The network grew by +17% from the year-ago week in total day viewers. The network also shot up +15% in total day demo viewers. The story is a slightly different in primetime. The network fell -1% in total primetime viewers and -4% in the key demo vs. the same week in 2021, but continues to dominate the other cable news outlets.

MSNBC and CNN, on the other hand, continue to post double-digit year-over-year losses. MSNBC shed -44% in total day viewers and -45% in total primetime viewers, -61% in the primetime demo and -61% in the total day demo from the comparable week in 2021. CNN, which was No. 1 in the demo at this time last year, fell in total day viewers (-53%), in total primetime viewers (-65%), the primetime demo (-69%) and total day demo (-58%).

On the programming front, The Five moved ahead of Tucker Carlson Tonight as the most-watched cable news show (3.59 million vs. 3.47 million). Hannity moved past Jesse Watters Primetime (2.964 million vs. 2.960 million) with Special Report with Bret Baier (2.52 million) rounding out the top five most-watched. The Rachel Maddow Show (guest-hosted by Alex Wagner) dropped to No. 13 on cable news in total viewers (averaging 1.56 million).

Week of Feb. 14, 2022 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

PRIME Fox News MSNBC CNN
• Total Viewers: 2,456,000 1,079,000 571,000
• A25-54: 353,000 114,000 121,000

 

 

 

TOTAL DAY Fox News MSNBC CNN
• Total Viewers: 1,547,000 659,000 484,000
• A25-54: 244,000 67,000 99,000

 

 

 

Below, the most-watched basic cable networks for the week. The left column is ranked by most to fewest average total primetime viewers, and the right column is ranked by most to fewest average total viewers across total day (6 a.m-6 a.m.).

Week of Feb. 14 (Total Viewers)

Here’s a second cable network ranker, sorted by most to fewest adults 25-54. The left column is primetime, the right is total day.

Week of Feb. 14 (Adults 25-54) 

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