It would almost be old news that Fox News Channel has topped cable news for a 70th consecutive quarter and is again the most watched outlet on all of basic cable. However, with historic viewing highs for last week’s two-night Democratic debate on MSNBC, the win for the Rupert Murdoch-owned outlet during the just-ended second quarter is just a little sweeter today.
Basically steady with dips of 6% and 4% in total day and primetime audiences, respectively, from the same period last year, Fox News averaged 1.3 million in the former measure and 2.4 million in the latter. That put Fox News as No. 1 in all of basic cable, followed by MSNBC in both categories. TNT was in third place in the 8-11 PM slot, while HGTV was third in total-day viewership.
February Ratings: MSNBC Tops In Total Day Viewers, CNN Wins Key Demo, Fox News Takes Primetime
Down 18% in both total day and primetime viewership from Q2 2018 to 531,000 and 761,000, CNN was 15th in total day and eighth in primetime on all of cable. Not a single one of the WarnerMedia-owned net’s shows made it into the cable news Top 20. Cuomo Prime Time was the most watched CNN show, sitting at No. 25 among cable newser offerings.
As for the Top 5, it was a lot like last year, with the exception of box-tied Tucker Carlson moving up to the second slot previously held by Dems debate co-moderator Rachel Maddow. Other than Tucker’s uptick, everyone else in the Top 5 took a little hit, with the final tally being Hannity (3,2 million), Tucker Carlson Tonight (2,8 million), The Rachel Maddow Show (2,5 million), The Ingraham Angle (2,4 million) and The Five (2,3 million).
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Heading towards the traditional surge that all cable newsers see in an election year, FNC, MSNBC and CNN are likely all glad to get past the double-digit demo declines of the previous quarter. Fox News had 373,000 viewers on average in primetime in the 25-54 news demo, MSNBC had 252,000 and CNN 188,0000. That’s a drop of 22%, 27% and a painful 38% for each, respectively, compared with Q2 2018.
The future will be brighter, at least quarter over quarter.
Just over 18.1 million watched Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and six other candidates on June 27 on NBC, Telemundo and MSNBC, and 15.3 million tuned in for Elizabeth Warren and nine others the night before. Which means people want their politics and that’s what all three of the cabler newsers intend to deliver in the coming months.
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