Week of June 7 Cable Network Ranker: Fox News Is a Top 5 Basic Cable Network in Total Viewers and Adults 25-54

By A.J. Katz 

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, Fox News Channel was the most-watched basic cable network in total day for the 17th consecutive week, averaging 1.2 nearly million total viewers and 197,000 adults 25-54 in the 6 a.m.-6 a.m. daypart. The network averaged 2.2 million total viewers and 331,000 in the 25-54 demo during the 8-11 p.m. ET prime time period, second-most behind TNT, which continues to attract big audiences for its prime time broadcasts of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

As has become the norm in recent months, Tucker Carlson Tonight drew the largest audience on cable news last week, averaging 2.8 million total viewers to go with 457,000 adults 25-54. TCT drew 2.7 million total viewers and 442,000 adults 25-54 the previous week.

We know Fox dominated its cable news competition, but how did the network perform against the previous week? Well. Fox News grew +9% in average total prime time viewers, and +12% in the prime time demo versus the previous week (which started on Memorial Day – May 31), In total day, the network improved by +8% in average total viewers, and +4% in adults 25-54.


Relative to the week of May 31, CNN held steady in total prime time viewers (776,000), but grew its prime time demo audience by +5% (177,000). In total day, CNN improved +1% in total viewers (557,000) and +8% in total day demo viewers (129,000). CNN dropped to No. 6 in total day viewers after finishing No. 5 the week prior. However, it moved up back up into the top 10 in total prime time viewers (No. 10) after finishing No. 12 in the daypart the week before.

MSNBC beat CNN in average total viewers, while CNN beat MSNBC in the adults 25-54 demo. No surprise there.

The aforementioned MSNBC dropped to No. 4 on basic cable in prime time viewers (1.38 million), behind Fox News, TNT and ESPN. The network finished No. 3 in total viewers across the 24-hour daypart (781,000), behind Fox and ESPN.

Despite falling from 3rd to 4th in prime time, MSNBC posted growth in the daypart, up +9% in total viewers and +11% in the demo vs. the prior week. In total day, the network grew +4% in total viewers, yet posted +2% growth in adults 25-54.

Week of June 7 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):

• Total Viewers: 2,157,000 1,376,000 776,000
• A25-54: 331,000 175,000 177,000




• Total Viewers: 1,193,000 781,000 557,000
• A25-54: 197,000 100,000 129,000




How about the broader basic cable landscape? After TNT and Fox News, ESPN, MSNBC, HGTV, TBS, TLC, History, Discovery and CNN rounded out the 10-most-watched basic cable networks for the week of June 7 in prime time.

Fox News, ESPN, MSNBC, TNT, HGTV, CNN, ID, INSP, Food Network and Hallmark Channel rounded out the 10-most-watched basic cable networks in total day last week.

Week of June 7 basic cable ranker (Total Viewers)

When it comes to adults 25-54 in prime time, the order is: TNT, ESPN, TBS, NBCSN, Fox News, HGTV, USA, TLC, Discovery, and Food Network. In total day, ESPN is No. 1, followed by TNT, TBS, Fox News, HGTV, ID, USA, Food Network, TV Land and CNN.

Week of June 7 basic cable ranker (Adults 25-54)