It’s rare to see all three major cable newsers finish No. 1 , but that’s exactly what happened during the week of Nov. 30. Fox News averaged the most total viewers on all of cable television last week in prime time, CNN averaged the most adults 25-54, both in prime time and total day, while MSNBC averaged the most total viewers on cable across the 24-hour day (6 a.m.-6 a.m.).
According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, throughout prime time, FNC garnered 2.7 million viewers. That’s noticeable improvement from the prior week (+32%). Fox News also grew +43% in the prime time demo from the prior week (which included Thanksgiving), +18% in total day viewers and +17% in the total day demo.
Relative to the week of Dec. 2 2019, (which featured presidential impeachment hearings), FNC was -5% in total prime time viewers, -3% in the prime time demo, but -20% in total day viewers, and -27% in the total day demo. As has been well documented in recent weeks, Fox News’ prime time ratings performance remains strong, but its performance across the 24-hour-day, particularly daytime hours, has been worse than usual since the election.
Fox News shows comprised 10 of the top 20 cable telecasts of the week in total viewers and delivered 10 telecasts with over 3 million viewers. Tucker Carlson Tonight delivered the second-largest audience in cable news, averaging 3.4 million viewers last week, while Hannity averaged 3.1 million.
MSNBC was the most-watched cable network (not just cable news network) last week across the 24-hour day, averaging 1.3 million total viewers from 6 a.m.-6 a.m. ET. It was also home to the most-watched show on cable news for the week: The Rachel Maddow Show (3.6 million total viewers).
For the last 4 weeks, Morning Joe at 6am, Deadline: White House at 4pm, The Beat with Ari Melber at 6pm, The ReidOut at 7pm and The 11th Hour with Brian Williams at 11pm all were No. 1 in total viewers, unseating Fox News and CNN.
Morning Joe was also No. 1 in both A25-54 and total viewers in its timeslot.
Additionally, Chris Jansing led MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle to a win at 9 a.m. MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson was No. 1 in total viewers at 10 a.m., The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was No. 1 in total viewers at 10 p.m.
The trends were good for MSNBC. Relative to the prior week, NBC’s politics-focused cable newser was +38% in total prime time viewers, +30% in the prime time demo, +24% in total day viewers, and +17% in total day demo during the week of Nov. 30. Relative to the same week in 2019, Fox News was +25% in total prime time viewers, +20% in the prime time demo, +26% in total day viewers, and +28% in the total day demo.
That said, the network did remain third among adults 25-54 behind CNN and Fox News.
CNN continues its hot streak in attracting the advertiser-preferred Adults 25-54 demographic, not just across the total day, but also in the key prime time daypart. CNN dominated in the demo last month, and has continued to attract A25-54 viewers in December.
Compared to the prior week, CNN grew +32% in total prime time viewers, +23% in the prime time demo, +11% in total day viewers and +8% in the total day demo. Compared to the same week in 2019 (the week after Thanksgiving), numbers are through the roof: +113% in total prime time viewers, +121% in the prime time demo, +79% in total day total viewers, and +78% in the total day demo.
The week for CNN was highlighted by Jake Tapper‘s first joint interview with Pres.elect-Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris since the election. It ended up being the No.1 program across across all of cable TV on Thursday, Dec. 3, among both total viewers (3.6 million) and the 25-54 demo (866,000).
Week of Nov. 30:
|PRIME TIME||Fox News||CNN||MSNBC|
|• Total Viewers:||2,706,000||1,891,000||2,251,000|
|TOTAL DAY||Fox News||CNN||MSNBC|
|• Total Viewers:||1,287,000||1,234,000||1,344,000|