Week of July 12 Basic Cable Ranker: Fox News Remains Most-Watched Cable Network, and Grows From Previous Week

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News Channel was the most-watched network on basic cable during the week of July 12, both in total day and in primetime dayparts.

The network also climbed to No. 1 on cable in total day among adults 25-54, moved to No. 2 in the aforementioned demo during primetime.

Speaking of primetime, Fox News averaged 2.17 million total viewers and 351,000 in the 25-54 demo during the week of July 12, up +6% and +14%, respectively, from what the network averaged in those measurements the previous week. In total day, Fox News averaged 1.19 million total viewers (+2% from the prior week), marking 22 consecutive weeks as the most-watched cable news network in total day. The network also averaged 209,000 adults 25-54 in total day, which is an +8% improvement from the prior week.


Tucker Carlson Tonight remained the No. 1 show on cable news last week, averaging 3 million viewers, and 523,000 in the 25-54 demo. The program averaged 3.2 million total viewers to go with 526,000 adults 25-54 the previous week.  Hannity remained the No. 2 show on cable news, followed by The Five, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, and The Ingraham Angle.

MSNBC dropped back to No. 3 in average total primetime audience this past week (1.32 million viewers), despite gaining viewers in the daypart from the prior week. MSNBC remained No. 2 on basic cable in total day viewers (776,000). MSNBC’s performance in the key A25-54 demo weren’t quite as impressive. The network finished No. 20 in adults 25-54 during primetime (165,000), and No. 18 in adults 25-54 during total day (99,000).

Relative to the previous week, MSNBC grew +4% of its average total prime time audience, and +6% in the prime time demo, +3% in total day viewers but lost -1% in the total day demo.

CNN averaged 831,000 total viewers in prime time (No. 8 on basic cable), and 573,000 in total day (No. 5 on basic cable) during the week of July 12. The network also averaged 173,000 adults 25-54 in primetime (No. 18 on basic cable), and 119,000 adults 25-54 in total day (No. 13 on basic cable).

How about comparable weeks? CNN held steady in average total prime time audience from the prior week, but lost -6% of its audience from the primetime demo. The network also shed -4% in total day viewers, and -5% in the total day demo from the prior week.

As has become custom in recent months, CNN beat MSNBC in the adults 25-54 demo, while MSNBC continues to beat CNN in average total viewers.

Week of July 12 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

• Total Viewers: 2,172,000 1,321,000 831,000
• A25-54: 351,000 165,000 173,000




• Total Viewers: 1,193,000 776,000 573,000
• A25-54: 209,000 99,000 119,000




How about the broader basic cable landscape?

After Fox News, ESPN, MSNBC, HGTV, Hallmark Channel, History, TLC, CNN, USA and INSP round out basic cable’s top 10 in average total primetime viewers. In total day, Fox News and MSNBC are followed by HGTV, CNN, Hallmark Channel, ID, History, INSP, Food Network and ESPN.

Week of July 12 basic cable ranker (Total Viewers)

Among adults 25-54, ESPN led the way in primetime, followed by Fox News, TNT, Discovery, HGTV, TBS, TLC, USA, Food Network and History. In total day, Fox News took the top spot among adults 25-54, followed by ESPN, TNT, ID, HGTV, Food Network, Discovery, TBS, USA and Hallmark rounding out the top 10.

Week of July 12 basic cable ranker (Adults 25-54)