Week of Feb. 3 Basic Cable Ranker: State of the Union and Impeachment Trial Help Fox News to Highest-Rated Week Since 2016 Election

By A.J. Katz Comment

The week of Feb. 3, 2020 was the best one ever, ratings-wise, for Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. The network’s prime time opinion lineup, as a whole, delivered its most-watched week since the 2016 election: 4.4 million viewers and 803,000 in the 25-54 demo.

Additionally, Fox News @ Night with anchor Shannon Bream scored its highest-rated week in total viewers ever, and knocked off its 11 p.m. competition in the demo for the 11th consecutive week.

FNC had its most-watched week in Total Day since Jan. 2017: 2.3 million viewers and 413,000 from the key demo.

Not only was Fox News No. 1 for the week in Total Viewers, but it was the No. 1 basic cable network for the week in Adults 25-54, which is a rarity.

The president’s State of the Union address (Tuesday, Feb. 4) and the end of the Senate impeachment trial lifted the network’s average ratings for the week. FNC was the go-to network for SOTU coverage. It saw viewer growth from Trump’s 2019 SOTU address, whereas the other networks saw audience losses.

Relative to the same week last year (which included the 2019 State of the Union but obviously not an impeachment trial), Fox News was +36% in prime time viewers this past week, +46% in total day viewers, +31% in the prime time demo and +46% in the total day demo.

Simply put, people who want to hear President Trump speak and want analysis of his remarks are increasingly going to Fox News.

Airings of Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle, The Story, Special Report with Bret Baier, The Five, Bill Hemmer Reports, Outnumbered Overtime, Outnumbered, and Justice with Judge Jeanine comprised the top 35 telecasts in all of cable in Total Viewers.

Yes, Fox attracted huge audiences, but CNN and MSNBC had very strong weeks as well, lifted by each network’s respective coverage of Trump’s Tuesday SOTU remarks.

MSNBC was the No. 2 network across all of basic cable in Total Viewers, both in prime time (1.64 million) and in total day (986,000). However, the network was -21% in prime time viewers, -15% in total day viewers, -20% in the prime time demo and -16% in the total day demo vs. the comparable week last year. MSNBC viewers were not quite as interested in watching Trump’s SOTU as perhaps they were last year, and seemed to grow less interested in the impeachment trial. But then again, MSNBC has seen mostly losses from 2019 overall.

CNN was the No. 4 network across all of basic cable in prime time (1.2 million), and No. 3 in total day (719,000) this past week. CNN also beat MSNBC among younger news consumers, including the key A25-54 demo. Compared with last year, the network was -4% in prime time viewers, -2% in total day viewers, -2% in the total day demo -5% in total day demo.

Here’s a ranker for the week of Feb. 3, showing Nielsen-measured basic cable networks sorted by Total Viewers.

Basic cable ranker: Week of Feb. 3 (Total Viewers)

And another ranker for the week of Feb. 3, this one showing Nielsen-measured basic cable networks sorted by Total Viewers.

Basic cable ranker: Week of Feb. 3 (Adults 25-54) 

 

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