Week of June 26 Cable Ranker: Fox News Is No. 1 Through July 4 Weekend

By A.J. Katz 

After a week in second place, Fox News Channel regained its status as the most watched basic cable network in primetime.

However, despite bypassing ESPN, the network posted week-to-week losses. A slower news cycle along with the July 4 weekend influenced lower viewership levels not only for Fox, but also for its rivals.

FNC averaged 1.41 million viewers for the week of June 26, 2023, which is -8% from the week prior (June 19, 2023). The network also averaged 137,000 A25-54 viewers in primetime, -17% from the week prior and No. 16 across basic cable (down five spots from a week earlier).


In terms of total day viewing, Fox News averaged 1.08 million total viewers, No. 1 for the 26th consecutive week, but -9% from the week prior. The network remained No. 2 among Adults 25-54 in total day (123,000), which is -14% from the week prior.

MSNBC also climbed past ESPN this past week, and into the No. 2 spot in total primetime viewers. The network averaged 1.18 million in the daypart, which is -10 % from the previous week. In addition, MSNBC averaged 114,000 A25-54 viewers in primetime, No. 22 on basic cable (down five spots from the previous week) and -20% from the previous week.

In total day, NBCU’s politics-focused cable channel averaged 784,000 total viewers, No. 2 among all basic cable networks (behind only Fox News) and -8% from the previous week. Additionally, MSNBC averaged 84,000 adults 25-54, No. 12 among all cable networks and -15% from the previous week.

After a strong ratings week of June 19 aided by myriad breaking news events (Titan submersible implosion/Wagner rebellion in Russia, etc.), CNN saw its ratings drop. The network averaged 571,000 total primetime viewers during the week of June 26 (No. 10 on basic cable, down four spots from the prior week), 125,000 Adults 25-54 in primetime (No. 19 on basic cable, down seven spots from the prior week), 457,000 total day viewers (No. 3 on basic cable, up one spot from the prior week) and 90,000 A25-54 in total day (No. 11 on basic cable, down eight spots from the prior week). That’s -18%, -21%, -21% and -31% from the previous week, meaning CNN posted the steepest week-to-week declines among the top-rated cable newsers.

CNN beat MSNBC in the key A25-54 demo for the second consecutive week, while MSNBC continues to average more total viewers than CNN.

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

Fox News continues to slide. The network is -32% in total primetime viewers, -51% in the primetime demo, -21% in total day viewers and -39% in the total day demo vs. the week of June 27, 2022. After a stretch of high viewership, MSNBC saw year-over-year losses again. The network shed -13% in total primetime viewers, -26% in the primetime demo, -6% in total day viewers and -15% in the total day demo. CNN dropped -15% in total primetime viewers, -13% in the primetime demo, -19% in total day viewers and -25% in the total day demo vs. the year-ago week.

Week of June 26 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

• Total Viewers: 1,412,000 1,183,000 571,000
• A25-54: 137,000 114,000 125,000




• Total Viewers: 1,077,000 784,000 457,000
• A25-54: 123,000 84,000 90,000




The Five is the No. 1 show on cable news for the 10th consecutive week, averaging 2.58 million total viewers at 5 p.m. for the week of June 26.

Fox News had seven of the 10 most-watched cable news shows of the week. MSNBC placed seven through nine. Jesse Watters Primetime secured second place behind The Five with a 2.08 million viewer average at 7 p.m. Watters is followed by Hannity (1.92 million at 9 p.m.), Special Report with Bret Baier (1.82 million at 6 p.m.), The Ingraham Angle (1.72 million at 10 p.m.), and Gutfeld! (1.59 million at 11 p.m.). Rounding out the top 10 in total viewers are MSNBC’s Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace (1.53 million at 4-6 p.m.), The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (1.47 million at 10 p.m.), The Beat with Ari Melber (1.42 million at 6 p.m.). Fox News Tonight (1.42 million at 8 p.m.) rounds out the top 10.

Fox News has nine of the top 10 cable news offerings of the week among Adults 25-54, including the top eight.

In addition to being No. 1 in total viewers, The Five marks another week at No. 1 on cable news among A25-54, averaging 255,000 from the measurement at 5 p.m. Gutfeld! remains No. 2 in the demo (226,000), followed by Hannity (195,000), The Ingraham Angle (194,000), and Jesse Watters Primetime (187,000). Outnumbered (178,000 at Noon), Special Report (171,000), The Faulkner Focus (162,000 at 11 a.m.), Deadline: White House (154,000) and America’s Newsroom (151,000 at 9-11 a.m.) round out the top 10 among A25-54.

Additionally, Fox News Tonight edged 8 p.m. competitor All In with Chris Hayes by just +1,000 Adults 25-54 (148,000 vs. 147,000).

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

Week of June 26 (Total Viewers)

Week of June 26 (Adults 25-54)