Week of Oct. 12 Weekly Cable Ranker: Driven by Coverage of Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings, Fox News Marks 41 Straight Weeks at No. 1

By A.J. Katz 

During the week of Oct. 12., Fox News averaged more total viewers than any other basic cable network for the time period of 6 a.m.-6 a.m. ET.

According to Nielsen data, the network averaged 2.4 million viewers in the daypart, No. 1 on cable for the 41st straight week.

In prime time, FNC garnered 4.36 million viewers and 761,000 in the 25-54 demo.


The network’s impressive ratings performance was driven by its daytime coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on President Trump’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. From Monday-Thursday (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET), FNC averaged over 3 million viewers, 506,000 in the 25-54 demo.

Relative to the prior week, Fox News was +15% in total viewers and +10% in the demo versus the prior week when it came to the total day daypart.

Moving to prime time, Hannity was the most-watched show on cable news last week, averaging a huge audience of 5.1 million viewers and nearly 1 million in the 25-54 demo (902,000). That’s the show’s third-largest audience of all time.

Hannity’s lead-in, Tucker Carlson Tonight, averaged the largest adults 25-54 audience last week (917,000) and was the second-most-watched cable news show behind Hannity with nearly 5.1 million viewers.

The Ingraham Angle drew 4.4 million viewers, 812,000 in the 25-54 demo, its largest audience in show history.

FNC was -4% in total prime-time viewers and -12% in the prime-time demo versus the prior week.

The week-to-week decline in prime-time viewership was expected, considering the previous week featured the 2020 vice presidential debate in prime time.

CNN averaged 1.9 million total viewers in prime time, No. 3 behind both Fox News and MSNBC, and No. 5 on all of basic cable, which is down from the prior week. CNN also averaged 461,000 adults 25-54 in prime time, behind Fox News but far ahead of MSNBC.

CNN saw the most significant week-to-week decline without a major political event to televise. The network was -30% in total viewers and -40% in the prime-time demo.

In total day, CNN averaged 1.16 million total viewers, No. 3 behind its competitors (and No.3 on all of cable), which is in line with the prior week. CNN continues to beat MSNBC in adults 25-54, doing so last week in total day (289,000 versus 208,000).

The network was down double digits in total day viewership, -22% in total day viewers and -26% in the total day demo. It didn’t cover much of the committee hearings, which may have played an additional role in this ratings drop-off.

MSNBC, NBC’s politics-focused cable newser, remains the second-most-watched network, not just on cable news, but across cable in its entirety. The network averaged 2.34 million total viewers in prime time, which is -18% from the prior week, as well as 1.33 million total viewers in total day (-14% week to week).

MSNBC, which skews older than CNN (and now appears to be skewing older than Fox News), finished No. 3 across cable news among adults 25-54, both in total day and in prime time (382.000 versus 461,000).

Among adults 25-54, Fox News was the third-most-watched network on all of prime-time cable (behind ESPN and TBS), while CNN finished No. 5 and MSNBC No. 6. In total day, Fox News was No. 1 in the demo, followed by ESPN, TBS, CNN, HGTV and MSNBC.


Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers, prime time:

• Total Viewers: 4,357,000 2,344,000 1,866,000
• A25-54: 761,000 382,000 461,000




Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers, total day:

• Total Viewers: 2,387,000 1,328,000 1,159,000
• A25-54: 421,000 208,000 289,000




Basic cable ranker: Week of Oct. 12 (Total Viewers)


Basic cable ranker: Week of Oct. 12 (Adults 25-54)