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 Ginsburg.

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 Carlson 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 Maddow 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 Cuomo 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 Hannity was second with 775,000 viewers in the category, followed by Laura Ingraham and “The Five,” with 624,000 and 527,000 viewers, respectively. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow rounded out the top five with 504,000.

Tags broadcast ratings Chris Cuomo CNN Fox News Laura Ingraham MSNBC nielsen media research Rachel Maddow Ruth Bader Ginsburg Sean Hannity Tucker Carlson

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