Weekly Ranker: FNC Remains No. 1 in Prime-Time Viewers, Posts Year-Over-Year Growth; CNN Edges MSNBC in Prime-Time Demo

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News Channel marked 23 consecutive weeks as the most-watched basic cable network in total day, averaging 1.6 million viewers for the week of June 11. The network was also No. 1 in prime time this past week garnering 2.9 million in total viewers and 594,000 in the 25-54 demo, per Nielsen data. It also defeated cable news rivals CNN and MSNBC in all relevant measurements and dayparts.

Compared to the same week in 2017, FNC was up +24 percent in prime-time viewers and +4 percent in total day viewers, undoubtedly lifted by the U.S.-North Korea summit which took place in Singapore and was heavily covered by Fox News and other cable and broadcast news outlets.

The same week last year included Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘s Senate testimony on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, and coverage of the terror attack on a mosque in London on Sunday, June 18, 2017.

On a programming side, FNC made up the top four cable telecasts for the week in total viewers, and 17 of the top 25 with presentations of Hannity, The Ingraham Angle, Tucker Carlson Tonight, Special Report With Bret Baier and The Five.

Additionally, FNC dominated cable news coverage of the U.S.-North Korea summit. On June 11, Hannity was No. 1 in prime-time cable with 5.9 million in total viewers and 1.5 million in the 25-54 demo, surpassing ABC’s The Bachelorette in total viewers, and delivering an all-time weekly high in total viewers since the program’s 9 p.m. hour debut last September.

Hannity’s interview with President Trump on June 12 drew 4.4 million in total viewers and 956,000 in the 25-54 demo. Additionally, Bret Baier’s interview with Trump on Special Report, which aired Wednesday, June 13, topped MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in the 25-54 demo.

MSNBC finished No. 2 in prime time across all of basic cable this week, but was -9 percent in prime-time viewers from the same week last year. The network finished No. 3 in total day viewers, but was also -8 percent in total day from last year.

CNN managed to defeat MSNBC among adults 25-54, not only in the 24-hour daypart (205,000 vs. 192,000) but also in prime time (349,000 vs. 348,000). Additionally, CNN held steady in total prime-time viewers versus the same week last year, but posted year-over-year losses across total day (-22 percent).

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,910,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,761,000)
  3. HGTV (1,470,000)
  4. USA (1,230,000)
  5. TBS (1,167,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,575,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (969,000)
  3. MSNBC (928,000)
  4. HGTV (785,000)
  5.  Investigation Discovery (700,000)

Last but not least, here’s how Fox Business performed this past week in business day and total day:

Week: June 11 – June 15, 2018:

Business Day:

FBN: 192,000 total viewers / 27,000 A25-54

CNBC: 152,000 total viewers / 33,000 A25-54


Total Day:

FBN: 153,000 total viewers / 24,000 A25-54

CNBC: 140,000 total viewers / 42,000 A25-54

Basic Cable Ranker: Week of June 11 (Total Viewers)