CNN tends to perform especially well with younger news demos during periods of intense breaking news. But with the George Floyd police murder protests calming down a bit, beginning last week, CNN slipped back into the No. 2 position behind Fox News in the key A25-54 demo. This, after the network delivered back-to-back impressive weekly wins in the aforementioned measurement.
According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, in addition to finishing No. 1 in the demo, Fox News ran its “most-watched basic cable network” streak to 23 weeks in total day and 21 weeks at No.1 in prime time. This is a network that will deliver a huge audience, regardless of news cycle intensity.
MSNBC finished the week as the second-most-watched network on basic cable, while CNN finished in third in Total Viewers last week.
Cable news continues to rule.
However, with the protests calming down, even Fox News posted week-to-week audience losses. The network was -16% in total prime-time viewers and -15% in total day viewers versus the week of June 1. The network was also -30% in the prime-time demo and -26% in the total day demo from the prior week, which was FNC’s highest-rated June week ever.
CNN, a breaking news juggernaut, felt the most significant effects of the weakening news cycle (“weakening” relative to the previous few weeks, that is). The network was -36% in total prime-time viewers and -32% in total day versus the prior week; -46% in the prime-time demo and -41% in the total day demo.
MSNBC was -20% in total prime-time viewers, -19% in total day viewers, -29% in the prime-time demo and -24% in the total day demo versus the previous week.
Compared to the same week in 2019, however, the big three cable newsers remained strong.
Fox News was +47% in prime-time viewers and +40% in total day viewers. The network was also +77% in the prime-time demo and +65% in the total day demo from the prior week.
Despite losing traction from the previous week, CNN remains in good shape relative to this point in 2019. The network was +115% in total prime-time viewers and +94% in total day versus the prior week; +172% in the prime-time demo and +144% in the total day demo.
MSNBC was up +20% in total prime-time viewers, +29% in total day viewers, +48% in the prime-time demo and +56% in the total day demo.
Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers for the week of June 8 (Monday-Sunday):
PRIME TIME (8-11 p.m.)
|• Total Viewers:||3,331,000||1,603,000||1,820,000|
TOTAL DAY (6 a.m.-6 a.m.)
|• Total Viewers:||1,720,000||1,007,000||1,099,000|
FNC’s prime-time shows, Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity, and The Ingraham Angle, were Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on cable news and all averaged more than 3 million viewers last week. Carlson’s 8 p.m. Fox News show was No. 1 on cable news, averaging roughly 4 million viewers and 680,000 demo viewers in that hour. Then, at 9 p.m. Hannity averaged 3.9 million viewers and 633,000 in the key demo. Following Hannity, The Ingraham Angle averaged 3.5 million viewers and 621,000 in the A25-54 demo, rounding out the top three programs in both categories. Additionally, FNC swept the top four programs in cable news with total viewers including Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle and The Five.
Additionally, last Friday, Harris Faulkner’s interview with President Trump defeated its CNN and MSNBC competition in the 1 p.m. hour, snapping CNN’s 19-day winning streak in in the demo for that hour.
Finally, the basic cable network ranker for the week of June 8, sorted by Total Viewers: