With final live plus same day Nielsen data for the week of January 9 now in, Fox News Channel has officially marked its 100th consecutive week as the most-watched cable news network in total day, and marked back-to-back weeks as the most-watched basic cable network in total day.
According to live plus same day data from Nielsen, FNC averaged 1.47 million total viewers and 183,000 adults 25-54 in total day (No. 2 on basic cable) during the second week of 2023. The 1.47 million represents a +2% gain from the previous week (Jan. 2, 2023)—but the 183,000 A25-54 average represents a -4% decline from the previous week.
In primetime, Fox News ranks No. 2 on basic cable in total viewers (2.21 million) behind only ESPN, but climbed up to the No. 4 spot in A25-54 viewing (it finished No. 5 the previous week), averaging 266,000 demo viewers. The 2.21 million average is +7% from the previous week, while the 266,000 A25-54 average is +6% from the previous week.
Primetime audience growth during the week of Jan. 9 is likely driven by the network’s analysis of the President Biden classified documents story.
Relative to the same week one year ago (January 10, 2022), however, Fox News is -4% in total primetime viewers and -23% in the primetime demo. The network did gain +1% in total day total viewers, but lost -21% in the total day demo. It’s apparent that Americans under 55 are increasingly watching less linear TV news than their elders. However, that’s not necessarily exclusive to Fox.
MSNBC and CNN, unlike Fox News, shed primetime viewers from the previous week.
The NBCU-backed cable news outlet averaged one million total viewers and only 98,000 A25-54 in primetime during the week of Jan. 9, down -27% and -41%, respectively, from the week of Jan. 2, which featured live coverage of the House speaker vote. In total day, MSNBC averaged 659,000 total viewers and only 67,000 A25-54 viewers during the week of Jan. 9, down -31% and -44%, respectively, from the week of Jan. 2. Comparing on a year-over-year trend basis, MSNBC again trends poorly. The network is -19% in total primetime viewers, -31% in the primetime demo, -4% in total day viewers and -11% in the total day demo vs. the week of Jan. 10, 2022.
MSNBC ranks No. 4 total primetime viewers and No. 3 in total day viewers (behind ESPN and Fox News), but No. 30 among A25-54 viewers in primetime, and No. 24 among A25-54 in total day for the week of Jan. 9.
CNN’s roller coaster ratings stretch continues. After posting impressive ratings during the week of the House speaker vote, CNN shed nearly half of that audience the week following. The network averaged 514,000 total viewers and 113,000 adults 25-54 in primetime during the week of Jan. 9, -44% and -48%, respectively, from the aforementioned week of Jan. 2. CNN posted an average of 448,000 total day viewers and 88,000 from the total day A25-54 demo this past week, -39% and -43%, respectively, from the week of Jan. 2.
The year-over-year decline isn’t quite as severe, with CNN down -14% in total primetime viewers, -14% in the primetime demo, -7% in total day viewers and -11% in the total day demo from the week of Jan. 10, 2022.
CNN was a top 10 basic cable network in all relevant dayparts during the week of the House speaker vote. During the week of Jan. 9, however, the network dropped to No. 15 in total primetime viewers, No. 24 in the primetime demo, No. 6 in total day viewers and No. 12 in the total day demo.
Perhaps MSNBC and CNN will bounce back this week.
Week of Jan. 9, 2023 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen Live+SD data):
|PRIME TIME||Fox News||MSNBC||CNN|
|• Total Viewers:||2,208,000||1,009,000||514,000|
|TOTAL DAY||Fox News||MSNBC||CNN|
|• Total Viewers:||1,470,000||659,000||448,000|
In terms of individual programming, The Five is the most-watched cable news show for the week, averaging 3.55 million total viewers. Tucker Carlson Tonight is second place in total viewers (3.225 million at 8 p.m.), with Jesse Watters Primetime (2.84 million at 7 p.m.), with Hannity (2.70 million at 9 p.m.) and Special Report with Bret Baier (2.60 million viewers at 6 p.m.) rounding out the top five.
Tucker Carlson Tonight took the top spot on cable news among adults 25-54, per usual, averaging 435,000 viewers from the measurement at 8 p.m. The Five ranks No. 2 (400,000) followed by Watters (308,000), Hannity (301,000) and Gutfeld! (296,000) rounding out the top five in the key demo.
Fox News had the 13-most-watched cable news shows for the week, and 14 of the top 15 (MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell ranked No. 14 — 1.3 million at 10 p.m.) Fox News also had the top 14 cable news shows of the week among Adults 25-54. CNN’s Erin Burnett Outfront ranked No. 15 (157,000).
Below, the full basic cable network rankers. No. 1 is sorted by most to fewest average total viewers, while No. 2 is sorted by most to fewest Adults 25-54.