Week of July 19 Cable Ranker: Fox News Remains Most-Watched Network; CNN, MSNBC Deliver Growth in Primetime Demo

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News Channel was the most-watched network during the week of July 19, both in total day and in primetime dayparts.

No. 1 in average total viewers, Fox News also finished No. 2 on basic cable in the A25-54 total day demo (after finishing No. 1 in the measurement the previous week). The network remained No. 2 on basic cable in the primetime A25-54 demo.

Speaking of primetime, Fox News averaged 2.09 million total viewers and 330,000 in the 25-54 demo during the week of July 19, -4% and -6%, respectively, from what the network averaged in those measurements the previous week (July 12, 2021). In total day, Fox News averaged 1.19 million total viewers (flat from the prior week), marking 23 consecutive weeks as the most-watched cable news network in total day. The network also averaged 201,000 adults 25-54 in total day, which is a -4% drop off from the prior week.


Tucker Carlson Tonight remained the No. 1 show on cable news last week, averaging 3 million viewers, and 515,000 in the 25-54 demo. The program averaged 3 million total viewers to go with 523,000 adults 25-54 the previous week.  Hannity remained the No. 2 show on cable news. Sean Hannity’s week was highlighted by a televised Florida town hall on Wednesday, July 21 featuring Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Congresswoman Maria Salazar (R-FL) and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

The Five, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, FNC’s The Ingraham Angle round out the week’s top 5 on cable news.

MSNBC climbed back up to No.2 on basic cable in average total primetime audience this past week (1.26 million viewers) after coming in third the prior week. MSNBC remained No. 2 on basic cable in total day viewers (737,000). MSNBC’s performance in the key A25-54 demo weren’t quite as impressive. The network finished No. 18 in adults 25-54 during primetime (171,000), and No. 16 in adults 25-54 during total day (104,000).

Relative to the previous week, MSNBC shed -5% of its average total prime time audience, but gained +4% in the prime time demo. The network lost -5% of its average total day audience, while gaining +2% in the total day demo. It’s a bit rare in this day and age to see ratings growth among younger demos, but a decline in total viewers.

CNN averaged 779,000 total viewers in prime time (No. 7 on basic cable), and 548,000 in total day (No. 5 on basic cable) during the week of July 19. Additionally, the network also averaged 175,000 adults 25-54 in primetime (No. 17 on basic cable), and 114,000 adults 25-54 in total day (No. 12 on basic cable).

How do those figures stack up against comparable weeks? The results were mixed. CNN shed -6% in average total primetime viewers, but gained +1% in the primetime demo from the prior week. CNN’s live town hall with President Biden last Wednesday night may have boosted the network’s ratings in the primetime demo a bit. CNN also shed -4% in total day viewers, and -4% 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 19 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

• Total Viewers: 2,092,000 1,257,000 779,000
• A25-54: 330,000 171,000 174,000




• Total Viewers: 1,192,000 737,000 548,000
• A25-54: 201,000 104,000 114,000




How about the broader basic cable landscape?

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

Week of July 19 basic cable ranker (Total Viewers) 

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

Week of July 19 basic cable ranker (Adults 25-54)