Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN gained back the viewers they lost during the week that began with Memorial Day—and then some.
Fox News remained the most-watched basic cable network in total day (1.45 million) and in primetime (2.29 million) during the week of June 6. The network’s 47-week-long streak of averaging more total primetime viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined came to an end. However, the network did continue to average more viewers in total day than MSNBC and CNN combined for the 43rd consecutive week—and posted week-to-week audience gains.
Fox News’ 2.29 million total viewer average in primetime is +13% from what the network averaged in the daypart during the holiday-influenced week of May 30. FNC also averaged 359,000 adults 25-54 in primetime, which is +24% from the week prior and No. 3 behind networks broadcasting postseason play, ESPN (735,000) and TNT (363,000).
Moving to total day, Fox News’ 1.45 million total viewer average is +9% from the network posted in the daypart the previous week. FNC also averaged 225,000 adults 25-54 in total day, No. 2 on basic cable behind ESPN (242,000) and +11% with the prior week.
Fox News remains the dominant cable news network in all measurements, but MSNBC and CNN had solid weeks, lifted by live coverage of the Jan. 6 committee primetime hearing this past Thursday.
MSNBC needed a big ratings week desperately—and got it. During Thursday night’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, MSNBC averaged 4.3 million viewers, ranking No. 1 among all cable networks and No. 2 among all TV networks behind ABC. Thursday was also MSNBC’s highest-rated night in nearly 18 months. MSNBC averaged more viewers than on any night since President Biden’s inauguration—and more adults 25-54 than on any night since the 2nd impeachment of Donald Trump. The full week was MSNBC’s most-watched week in total day and primetime since the first week of the War in Ukraine.
MSNBC ranked No. 3 on basic cable last week with a 1.44 million total primetime viewer average. That’s +81% from what the network averaged in the daypart the previous week. MSNBC also averaged 754,000 total day viewers this past week, No. 2 on basic cable and +36% from the prior week. When it came to adults 25-54, MSNBC averaged 161,000 in primetime this past week (No. 18 on basic cable). That’s a whopping +127% from the prior week. The network also averaged 83,000 adults 25-54 in total day, which is +43% from the prior week and No. 22 overall on basic cable.
CNN averaged 851,000 total viewers in primetime last week, up +41% from the week prior. CNN’s A25-54 viewership in primetime (217,000) was up +78% from the prior week. CNN’s gains in total day weren’t quite as significant. The network did grow +9% in total viewers (499,000) and -18% in the key demo (113,000).
How did cable news’ “big three” fare relative to the same week in 2021? (Week of June 7) Fox News gained +5% in average total primetime viewers and +8% in the primetime demo. The story in the 6 a.m.-6 a.m. total day daypart was even more positive, with the network gaining a solid +22% in total viewers and +14% in the total day demo. CNN gained +10% average total primetime viewers and +23% in the primetime demo, driven by live coverage of the Jan. 6 committee hearing in Thursday prime. Outside of prime, however, the story wasn’t quite as positive. CNN shed -10% in total day viewers and -12% in the total day demo vs. the year-ago week. MSNBC gained +5% in average total primetime viewers, but still lost -8% in the primetime demo. The network shed -3% in total day viewers and -17% in the total day demo.
Week of June 7 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):
|PRIME TIME||Fox News||MSNBC||CNN|
|• Total Viewers:||2,268,000||1,444,000||851,000|
|TOTAL DAY||Fox News||MSNBC||CNN|
|• Total Viewers:||1,451,000||754,000||499,000|
On the cable news programming front, Tucker Carlson Tonight was the most-watched show of the week, both in total viewers (3.225 million) and among adults 25-54 (533,000) at 8 p.m. The Five came in second (3.19 million total viewers / 412,000 adults 25-54 at 5 p.m.), followed by Jesse Watters Primetime at No. 3 in average total viewers (2.59 million at 7 p.m.), Hannity at No. 4 (2.555 million at 9 p.m.) and Special Report with Bret Baier at No. 5 (2.41 million viewers at 6 p.m.). Hannity averaged the third-most adults 25-54 on cable news (404,000), followed by The Ingraham Angle (380,000) and Jesse Watters Primetime (357,000).
Fox News as a network secured the 15-most-watched cable news shows of the week.
How about the broader basic cable landscape? After Fox News and ESPN, MSNBC, HGTV, INSP, CNN, TNT, Discovery, Hallmark rounded out the 10-most-watched basic cable networks for the week in prime time.
Fox News and MSNBC were the two-most-watched basic cable networks in total day last week, followed by ESPN, HGTV, CNN, Hallmark Channel, Food Network, TV Land and ID.
Below, the full weekly rankers: