Fox News boasts fifth consecutive year as most-watched cable network, CNN celebrates ‘best year ever’ in ratings


Fox News boasted its fifth consecutive year as the most-watched cable network, and CNN celebrated its “best year ever” in ratings after both channels released their year-end ratings on Wednesday.

Fox News led among cable networks in the total day demographic for the first time with 1.89 million viewers. In primetime, it had almost 3.62 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

MSNBC came in second in both categories for the third consecutive year with 1.24 million viewers during the total day and almost 2.15 million viewers in primetime. CNN followed with its most-watched year ever with 1.13 million viewers during the total day and 1.79 million viewers in primetime.

“Hannity” was the most viewed cable news program for the fourth year in a row and earned the highest-rated program average ever in cable news, with nearly 4.4 million viewers. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” received its highest-rated year and was the most watched cable news program among viewers aged 25 to 54, with 798,000 viewers in the demographic prized by advertisers.

Since the election, CNN achieved the top ratings for cable news with 1.64 million total viewers, while Fox News had nearly 1.53 million viewers and MSNBC had 1.49 million viewers. This represents the first time CNN beat Fox News in total day viewership for at least a month since December 2001.

CNN boasts leading among the 25 to 54 year old demographic since the election with 477,000 average viewers for its total day numbers, compared to Fox News’s 286,000 and MSNBC’s 263,000. CNN has kept the lead of this demographic for 41 days – the longest winning streak since September 2001, the network reported.

In the meantime, MSNBC described a “record-breaking year in total viewers” and the sixth consecutive year of growth. 

Since it called the election, MSNBC said it ranks as the top cable news network during weekdays with 1.56 million viewers, compared to Fox News’s 1.51 million viewers and CNN’s nearly 1.41 million viewers. 

The network also celebrated having the largest engagement among viewers since the election, with MSNBC viewers averaging 407 minutes per week, while CNN viewers average 288 minutes per week and Fox News viewers average 297 minutes per week.

Tags Cable news CNN Fox News Fox News Media MSNBC NBCUniversal ratings television ratings television viewers Tucker Carlson viewers
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