Holding steady with last year and last month, Donald Trump’s favorite 9 PM show was again the most watched on cable news in July. Up 4% from June and dipping the same from the Brett Kavanaugh-dominated cycle of last year, Hannity was tops for a fourth month in a row with 3.3 million viewers and 527,000 viewers in the adults 25-54 news demographic.
Speaking of that demo, Hannity was down 21% from this time last year and up 6% from last month, which was also the end of the second quarter of the year. No big surprises there — FNC’s dedicated base made sure the Rupert Murdoch-owned outlet won that too.
Coming in with a total audience of with 3.14 million, Tucker Carlson Tonight was the second most watched cable news show of the month, followed by fellow FNCers The Ingraham Angle (2.6 million) and The Five (2.5 million). MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was the only non-Fox News show to make it in the Top 5 this month, tripping into fifth place with 2.3 million viewers.
In fact, July was not a good month overall for the NBCUniversal-owned MSNBC.
First, top-rated Maddow was down in a month that launched with the outlet hosting the first round of Democratic presidential debates. Then, snagging a result of just 125,000 for total day, MSNBC had its least watched month among the 25-54s since the former Celebrity Apprentice host moved into the White House in January 2017 – and that’s with Robert Mueller’s much hyped congressional hearings on July 24.
Still, in all categories except total day demo, MSNBC was ahead of CNN – who had their much-promoted debate candidates’ lottery draw on week before last.
Looking at the primetime numbers, CNN and MSNBC was both almost uniformly down double digits in total day and primetime viewers and demo compared to the midterms lead-up of the summer of 2018. Total day viewership saw CNN stumble 13% and MSNBC decline 7% with 32% and 29% drops in the demo respectively. In primetime, it was 11% and 10% in viewers and 32% and 28% respectively in the 25-54s.
In the battle between that top cable newsers that aren’t owned by an Australian mogul, MSNBC beat CNN for the 29th month in a row in total day viewers.
Capturing a very small victory but avoiding defeat, Fox was actually up 1% in viewers in both categories against its past performances. The outlet was down 10% and 15% in total day and primetime demo results compared to July 2018.
Clearly the happy dance party was in another part of FNC HQ – and it was one the opposition couldn’t crash if they wanted to.
With it was 2.43 million on average for FNC, the outlet swarmed MSNBC’s 1.5 million and the Jeff Zucker-run WarnerMedia outlet’s meek 797,000 in primetime, according to Nielsen. Among the 25-54 demo in primetime, FNC averaged 378,000 viewers for the month to MSNBC’s 222,000 and CNN’s 201,000. Expanding the scope to total day, Fox News snared an average of 1.4 million viewers to MSNBC’s 852,000 and CNN’s 557,000. Narrowing in on total day demo, CNN had a rare second place pole with 131,000 viewers to Fox News’ 237,000 and MSNBC’s 125,000.
The beating continued outside of primetime too.
FOX News @ Night with Shannon Bream snared 1.4 million viewers and 279,000 in the 25-54 demo for the month in the 11 PM ET slot. That thrashed MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams for the fifth consecutive month among the 25-54s. A pounding that saw the once disgraced NBC Nightly News anchor’s cable show getting its MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams hit its second worst demo rating since its September 2016 debut.
In case, you didn’t feel there was enough math here – chew on this, July 2018 was the second month in a row that FNC has been #1 in all of cable in primetime. The sweltering month that ends tomorrow is also the 37th month that Fox News has been the most watched network on basic cable in total day.
Add that up, fair and balanced.