Fox News tops broadcast networks for first time in 3rd quarter

Fox News topped broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC in total viewers for the first time in the third quarter of 2020 and was the most-watched network on television, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The numbers come during a particularly heavy news cycle that included the COVID-19 pandemic, the Democratic and Republican national conventions, unrest in U.S. cities and a brewing Supreme Court battle following the death of Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgOcasio-Cortez says Breyer should retire from Supreme Court Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema Juan Williams: Time for Justice Breyer to go MORE.

The network averaged 3.51 million viewers in prime-time in July, August and September, an increase of 44 percent when compared to the same quarter in 2019.


Fox's "Hannity" finished the quarter as the most-watched show in cable news, averaging approximately 4.45 million viewers. "Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonKinzinger: Conspiracy theory FBI planned Jan. 6 example of 'legacy of Trump and Trumpism' Fox launches Apple podcast subscription service FOX News Podcasts+ Overnight Defense: Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military | Military guns go missing | New White House strategy to battle domestic extremism MORE Tonight" was second with 4.35 million viewers, followed by "The Five" with 3.48 million, and "The Ingraham Angle" with 3.43 million viewers.

MSNBC also saw record numbers in the third quarter, scoring 2.2 million total viewers in prime-time for the first time in the network's 24-year history.

"The Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowDemocratic group launches seven-figure ad campaign on voting rights bill GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message Fauci hits back at GOP criticism over emails: 'It's all nonsense' MORE Show" was again MSNBC's top-rated show, averaging 3.3 million viewers to finish fifth overall in cable news.

MSNBC also set a record, with the network’s prime-time programs drawing 2.2 million total viewers, the network’s best delivery in the time period.

CNN finished third among the three major cable news networks with an average of about 1.53 million viewers, an increase of 56 percent when compared to the same quarter last year.

The network's most-watched program was "Chris CuomoChris CuomoCNN insults #MeToo movement, provides happy ending for Jeffrey Toobin Club for Growth bashes CNN in social media ad The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Citizens' Climate Lobby - Biden, Capito meet today as deadline looms MORE Primetime," which averaged 1.72 million viewers in finishing 20th overall in cable news.

In the younger demographic of viewers aged 25-54 that advertisers are most attracted by, Tucker Carlson finished first with an average of 781,000 viewers. Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityBook claims Trump believed Democrats would replace Biden with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama in 2020 election 9 Republicans not named Trump who could run in 2024 Fox Nation to stream primetime Fox News shows in full MORE was second with 775,000 viewers in the category, followed by Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamMedia continues to lionize Anthony Fauci, despite his damning emails Fox Nation to stream primetime Fox News shows in full DeSantis says he'll pardon people who violate mask laws MORE and "The Five," with 624,000 and 527,000 viewers, respectively. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow rounded out the top five with 504,000.