Fox News Channel was the most-watched basic cable network in total day and in primetime during the week of March 28. FNC also averaged more total viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined for the 33rd consecutive week.
According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Fox News averaged 2.53 million total viewers in primetime this past week. In addition to being No. 1 overall, that number is +1% from the previous week. FNC averaged 380,000 adults 25-54 in primetime, which is -9% from the week prior and behind the cable networks carrying Men’s and Women’s NCAA March Madness (TBS, TNT and ESPN).
Fox News averaged 1.65 million total viewers in total day during the week of March 28. While No. 1 overall, that number is -2% from what the network averaged the prior week. FNC also averaged 271,000 adults 25-54 in total day, No. 1 on cable, but a -6% drop from the prior week.
MSNBC fell to No. 5 in average total primetime viewers (1.13 million) this past week, finishing behind Fox News and the networks carrying the men’s and women’s tournaments on cable. MSNBC’s 1.13 million total viewer average is -2% from the previous week. The network also averaged 698,000 total day viewers, -5% from the prior week. While the story remains pretty good for MSNBC in total viewers, it continues to worse in the A25-54 demo. The network averaged 129,000 primetime demo viewers this past week, which is -15% from the prior week, and 78,000 adults 25-54 in total day, -12% from the prior week.
As TV news’ focus on Ukraine slowly begins to subside, CNN, which has benefited more from its coverage of the war in Ukraine any other network, is beginning to see its viewership return to early Q1 levels. The network averaged 731,000 total viewers in primetime last week, No. 12 on all of basic cable, and -18% from the previous week. The network also averaged 620,000 total day viewers, No. 4 on all of cable this past and -15% from the prior week. The network shed -24% among adults 25-54 watching in primetime (182,000)—and -18% among adults 25-54 watching in total day (142,000).
How did the “big three” fare relative to the same week in 2021? Fox News grew by +16% in average total primetime viewers, +6% in the primetime demo, +35% in total day viewers and +33% in the total day demo. CNN and MSNBC, which were giving Fox a serious run for its money at this time last year, saw double-digit dips from the year-ago week. CNN dropped by -29% in average total primetime viewers, -34% in the primetime demo, -24% in total day viewers and -32% in the total day demo. MSNBC’s decline is even more extreme, with the network dropping -31% in average total primetime viewers, -46% in the primetime demo, -32% in total day viewers and -48% in the total day demo.
Week of March 28, 2022 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):
|• Total Viewers:||2,529,000||1,129,000||731,000|
|TOTAL DAY||Fox News||MSNBC||CNN|
|• Total Viewers:||1,618,000||698,000||620,000|
On the cable news programming front, Fox News’ The Five remained the most-watched show on cable news this past week, averaging 3.57 million total viewers at 5 p.m. Tucker Carlson Tonight took second place in total viewers, averaging 3.52 million, with Hannity (3.04 million), Jesse Watters Primetime (2.94 million) and Special Report with Bret Baier (2.67 million) rounding out the top five in average total viewers.
Fox’s 11 p.m. late-night comedy show Gutfeld!, which is marking its one year anniversary today, saw its most-watched week since launch with 2.16 million viewers and 365,000 adults 25-54. The program grew +81% in total viewers and +55% in the younger A25-54 demo versus the 2021 average of Fox’s 11 p.m. hour.
Additionally, below are the most-watched basic cable networks for the week. The left column is ranked by most to fewest average total primetime viewers—and the right column is ranked by most to fewest average total viewers across total day (6 a.m-6 a.m.).
Finally, the left column below is ranked by most to fewest average adults 25-54 watching in primetime— and the right column is ranked by most to fewest adults 25-54 watching across total day (6 a.m-6 a.m.).