Week of July 10 Basic Cable Ranker: Fox News Rebounds After Low-Rated Holiday Week

By A.J. Katz 

With the week of July 10, 2023 now complete, Fox News Channel can officially mark another one as the most watched basic cable network in both primetime and total day viewing. FNC can also mark its 126th consecutive week as the most-watched cable news network in total day.

After low audience level weeks influenced by the Independence Day holiday, MSNBC and Fox News rebounded a bit.

FNC averaged more than 1.47 million primetime viewers for the week of July 10, per live plus same day data from Nielsen. That’s +21% from the week prior (July 3, 2023). The network also averaged 130,000 A25-54 viewers in primetime, +26% from the week prior. In addition to its No. 1 finish in total viewers, Fox News took the No. 15 spot in the primetime demo this past week, up one spot from the week before.


In terms of total day viewing, FNC averaged 1.08 million total viewers, No. 1 for the 28th consecutive week, and +11% from the week prior.  Additionally, Fox News finished No. 2 among Adults 25-54 in total day (120,000), which is +10% from the week prior.

MSNBC took the No. 3 spot in total primetime viewers this past week (on par with the week before), averaging a total of 1.17 million total viewers in the daypart. That happens to be +37% from its low-rated July 4 holiday week. In addition, MSNBC averaged 105,000 A25-54 viewers in primetime, which is +28% from the previous week and tied with Nick-at-Nite for No. 23 on basic cable.

In total day, NBCU’s politics-focused cable channel averaged 730,000 total viewers, +22% from the prior week and No. 2 among all basic cable networks (behind only Fox News). Additionally, MSNBC averaged only 72,000 A25-54, tied for No. 17 among all cable networks with CNN and +16% from the previous week.

After a strong holiday week, CNN struggled this past week. The network averaged only 89,000 A25-54 in primetime, which is -19% from the prior week, and down seven spots from the week before in the basic cable network rankings(30 vs. No. 23). CNN averaged 503,000 total primetime viewers, -7% from the week before, and No. 14 overall. In total day, CNN averaged 411,000 total viewers (No. 5 on basic cable) and 72,000 A25-54 (tied for No. 17 on basic cable with MSNBC). That’s -3%, and -12%, respectively, from what the network averaged in those two measurements the previous week. The 72,000 average in the total day demo represents the network’s smallest audience in the measurement since 2000.

How did the big three cable newsers fare relative to the year-ago week? Not great.

Despite these first place finishes, Fox News continues to fall on an annual basis. The network is -32% in total primetime viewers, -58% in the primetime demo, -21% in total day viewers and -41% in the total day demo vs. the week of July 11, 2022. After a stretch of abnormally-large audiences, MSNBC saw year-over-year declines again. The network shed -11% in total primetime viewers, -20% in the primetime demo, -11% in total day viewers and -19% in the total day demo from the year-ago week. CNN dropped by -24% in total primetime viewers, -39% in the primetime demo, -27% in total day viewers and -36% in the total day demo vs. the year-ago week.

Week of July 10 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

• Total Viewers: 1,473,000 1,171,000 503,000
• A25-54: 130,000 105,000 89,000




• Total Viewers: 1,078,000 730,000 411,000
• A25-54: 120,000 72,000 72,000




The Five is the No. 1 show on cable news for the 12th consecutive week, averaging 2.51 million total viewers at 5 p.m. for the week of July 10.

Fox News had nine of the 10 most-watched cable news shows of the week, including the top seven. MSNBC placed The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell at No. 8.

Jesse Watters Primetime secured second place on cable news behind The Five with a 2.08 million viewer average at 7 p.m. Watters is followed by Hannity (1.95 million at 9 p.m.), Special Report with Bret Baier (1.66 million at 6 p.m.), and The Ingraham Angle (1.635 million at 10 p.m.). Rounding out the top 10 in total viewers are Fox News Tonight guest hosted by Piers Morgan (1.56 million at 8 p.m.), Gutfeld! (1.53 million at 11 p.m.), The Last Word (1.45 million at 10 p.m.) with Fox News’ Outnumbered (1.42 million at Noon ET) rounding out the top 10.

Fox News has the top 11 cable news shows of the week among Adults 25-54.

In addition to being No. 1 in total viewers, The Five marks another week at No. 1 in the demo, averaging 231,000 from the measurement at 5 p.m. Gutfeld! remains No. 2 in the demo for a fourth consecutive week (208,000), followed by Watters Primetime (180,000), Outnumbered (174,000), The Ingraham Angle (171,000), Hannity (169,000), The Faulkner Focus (162,000 at 11 a.m. ET), Special Report (157,000), America’s Newsroom (151,000 from 9-11 a.m. ET), with Fox News Tonight (139,000) rounding out the top 10 among A25-54.

Lastly, below are the basic cable network rankers — sorted by average total viewers followed by A25-54.

Week of July 7 (Total Viewers)

Week of July 7 (Adults 25-54)