Week of July 27 Basic Cable Ranker: Fox News Extends Its ‘Most-Watched’ Streak to 30 Consecutive Weeks

By A.J. Katz 

The Nielsen live-plus-same-day data for the week of July 27 is in, and Fox News has once again emerged as the most-watched network on U.S. cable television in total day (1.63 million viewers on average) and in prime time (3.16 million on average). That’s now 30 straight weeks at No. 1 in total day and 28 weeks in a row as the most-watched basic cable network in prime time.

The network also topped its cable news competition among Adults 25-54, averaging 275,000 Adults 25-54 in total day and 509,000 Adults 25-54 in prime time.

Tucker Carlson Tonight was the No. 1 program on cable news last week, by a tiny average of +1,000 Total Viewers (3.937 million) but by a healthier margin in Adults 25-54 (676,000).


Hannity finished in second place across the board, averaging 3.936 million Total Viewers and 624,000 Adults 25-54.

Presentations of Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle, The Five, Special Report with Bret Baier and The Story with Martha MacCallum comprised seven of the 10 most-watched programs in cable news.

MSNBC comprised the other three spots, led, as always, by The Rachel Maddow Show, which was cable news’ fifth-ranked show for the week.

Fox News posted prime-time audience growth from the previous week (July 20) in Total Viewers (+1%) and among Adults 25-54 (+5%). In total day, FNC was +2% in Total Viewers and +6% among Adults 25-54.

The network also posted year-over-year (July 29, 2019) growth in prime time (+23% in Total Viewers, +23% among Adults 25-54) and in total day (+12% in Total Viewers, +7% in the demo).

CNN finished No. 3 in Total Viewers (1.38 million in prime time) this past week, behind Fox News (3.16 million) and MSNBC (1.93 million).

However, it once again beat MSNBC in Adults 25-54, averaging 365,000 in prime time (versus 286,000 for MSNBC) and 240,000 in total day (versus 177,000 for MSNBC). In total day, CNN was +35,000 A25-54 viewers behind Fox News (240,000 versus 275,000).

In prime time, CNN was flat in Total Viewers but -2% among Adults 25-54. In total day, the network was +4% in Total Viewers but -4% among Adults 25-54.

The year-over-year prime-time ratings trend for CNN, on the other hand, isn’t great, but that’s to be expected, considering the network aired Democratic presidential primary debates on back-to-back nights live from Detroit during the year-ago week.

CNN was -58% in total prime-time viewers and -60% in the prime-time demo. The total day performance is far more reasonable. CNN was only -1% in total day viewers, but -9% in the total day demo.

MSNBC finished No. 2 in Total Viewers (only behind Fox News on all of cable television), but No. 3 in the A25-54 demo (behind Fox News and CNN) this past week.

In prime time, MSNBC fell from the prior week. The network was -8% in Total Viewers and -3% among Adults 25-54 versus the prior week. The story was better in total day. MSNBC was +1% in Total Viewers and +2% among Adults 25-54 versus the prior week.

Compared to the year-ago week (July 29, 2019), MSNBC was up significantly: +51% in total prime-time viewers, +51% in the prime-time demo, +43% in total day viewers and +40% in the total day demo. This makes sense, considering the overwhelming majority of MSNBC viewers were watching CNN’s two-night Democratic debate during the year-ago week.

This also helps explains some of Fox News’ year-over-year growth in prime time, though a far larger percentage of MSNBC’s prime-time audience switched over to CNN that week than Fox News’ (though some of Fox News’ still did!).

Again, here are the Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of July 27 (Monday-Sunday, live-plus-same-day data):

PRIME TIME (8-11 p.m.)

• Total Viewers: 3,159,000 1,927,000 1,377,000
• A25-54: 509,000 286,000 365,000




TOTAL DAY (6 a.m.-6 a.m.)

• Total Viewers: 1,632,000 1,224,000 989,000
• A25-54: 275,000 177,000 240,000




Below are cable network rankers for the week of July 27, sorted by Total Viewers followed by Adults 25-54. Nielsen live-plus-same-day data.

Week of July 27 basic cable ranker (Total Viewers)

Week of July 27 basic cable ranker (Adults 25-54)