Fox News Tops SCOTUS Press Conference Ratings; ABC Leads Broadcasters

Brett Kavanaugh Donald Trump

UPDATED with Hannity ratings: Fox News Channel scored 6.6 million total viewers Monday to lead the way among all news networks covering President Donald Trump’s primetime announcement of his U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The network pulled in 1.345 million of those viewers in the key 25-54 news demo, according to early numbers from Nielsen.

Trump’s press conference spelled good news Fox News’ Hannity, which airs weeknights during the 9 ET hour. The Sean Hannity-fronted show was the night’s most-watched program on either broadcast or cable with 5.817 million total viewers in Live+Same Day numbers, topping the likes of ABC’s The Bachelorette (5.677M viewers) and NBC’s American Ninja Warrior (4.999M) which aired in skewed patterns thanks to the news coverage.

The presser, which began at 9:01 PM ET and lasted 21 minutes, marked the second time Trump announced a SCOTUS nom using a primetime media conference. In January 2017, he used the platform to unveil Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the High Court. The three main cable nets (led by Fox News) and four broadcast nets (led by CBS) combined to draw  32.42 million viewers for that 17-minute broadcast when all was said and done.

On Monday, Fox News’ viewership was followed by ABC, which averaged 5 million total viewers and 1,497,000 in the 25-54 demo, and CBS’ 3.4 million and 783,000 in the 25-54 demo on a night that saw broadcast networks forced to juggle programming schedules to accommodate coverage.

MSNBC was second among cable nets with 2 million total viewers and 370,000 in the 25-54 demo, followed by CNN with 1.5 million and 486,000.

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