With Nielsen live plus same day data for the week of October 31 now in, we can safely report Fox News Channel has now achieved 44 consecutive weeks as the most-watched basic cable network in the 24-hour daypart, and 90 consecutive weeks as the most-watched network on cable news.
FNC averaged 1.63 million viewers and 218,000 adults 25-54 in total day this past week, up less than +1% in total viewers but -3% in A25-54 viewers, respectively, from what the network averaged in those two categories the previous week (Oct. 24). Additionally, Fox News averaged 2.46 million total viewers in primetime this past week, -4% from the prior week and No. 2 on all of basic cable behind ESPN (3.15 million). Additionally, FNC averaged 318,000 adults 25-54 in primetime, -3% from the previous week and also No. 2 on basic cable behind ESPN (1. million).
It’s safe to say that enthusiasm among Fox News viewers is high heading into the 2022 midterm elections, and ratings will improve even more during the week of Nov. 7.
Compared with the same week in 2021 (beginning November 1), when cable news presented live coverage of the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, Fox News wis -12% in total primetime viewers and -30% in the prime time demo. The network shed only -1% in total day viewers, but -22% in the total day demo.
CNN averaged 431,000 total day viewers during the week of Oct. 31, the network’s smallest audience in the daypart since 2015, -8% from the prior week, and No. 5 on all of basic cable. CNN also averaged 86,000 adults 25-54 in total day, which is more than MSNBC, but -5% from the prior week and again No. 16 on basic cable. Shifting over to primetime, CNN averaged just 466,000 total viewers, which is fewer than MSNBC, -16% from the prior week and No. 17 on basic cable. CNN also averaged 100,000 adults 25-54 in primetime, the same number as MSNBC, -9% from the prior week and No. 27 on basic cable.
CNN’s year-over-year trend is worse. The network continues to struggle in primetime, -36% in total primetime viewers and -42% in the primetime demo versus the same week in 2021. The network shed -12% in total day viewers and is -23% in the total day demo from last year as the midterms approach.
MSNBC finished the week of Oct. 31 as the fourth-most-watched basic cable network in primetime, averaging 1.01 million total viewers in the daypart, more than CNN. MSNBC also averaged 676,000 total day viewers, third-most on basic cable and also more than CNN. The network’s 1.01 million total primetime viewer average is -4% from the prior week, while its 676,000 total day viewer average is -4% from the prior week. MSNBC averaged 100,000 adults 25-54 in primetime during the week of Oct. 31, which is -4% from the prior week, the same as CNN and tied for No. 27 on all of basic cable. The network averaged only 74,000 adults 25-54 in total day, which is -3% from the prior week, fewer than CNN and No. 22 on all of basic cable.
MSNBC is -11% in total primetime viewers and -38% in the primetime demo versus the same week in 2021. The performance in total day viewing, however, was better. The network is up +3% in total day viewers and -6% in the total day demo from the same week last year.
It remains to be seen if CNN and MSNBC ratings benefit from this year’s election coverage. It’s possible there won’t be a significant boost. Both networks attract a majority left-leaning audience and the Democratic party isn’t expected to fare particularly well this election. Viewers may tune out relatively early in the evening. Or perhaps there will be surprises and they’ll stick around a while! We’ll see.
Week of October 31 cable news ratings, Monday-Sunday (Nielsen live-same-day data):
|PRIME TIME||Fox News||MSNBC||CNN|
|• Total Viewers:||2,462,000||1,013,000||466,000|
|TOTAL DAY||Fox News||MSNBC||CNN|
|• Total Viewers:||1,630,000||676,000||431,000|
In terms of individual programming, The Five is the most-watched cable news show for the 11th consecutive week. The news talk panel program averaged 3.58 million total viewers during the week of Oct. 31, up from the prior week. Tucker Carlson Tonight is second place in total viewers (3.47 million at 8 p.m.), with Jesse Watters Primetime (3.17 million at 7 p.m.), Hannity (2.83 million at 9 p.m.) and Special Report with Bret Baier (2.72 million viewers at 6 p.m.) round out the top five.
Tucker Carlson Tonight remained No. 1 on cable news among adults 25-54, averaging 490,000 viewers from the measurement at 8 p.m. The Five ranked No. 2 (405,000), followed by the 11 p.m. Gutfeld! (391,000), Jesse Watters Primetime (378,000), and Hannity (365,000).
Gutfeld! saw its highest-rated week with viewers since launching last Spring.
Below are the basic cable network rankers for this past week. The first is sorted by most to fewest total viewers, and the second is sorted by most to fewest adults 25-54: