NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FOX News Channel (FNC) completed the most recent full month of the first quarter of 2021 as the most-watched cable news network, sweeping the competition in total day and primetime total viewers and in the key 25-54 demographic and reclaiming its lead in all categories, according to Nielsen Media Research. In total day, FNC garnered 1.3 million viewers, 207,000 with A25-54 and 119,000 with A18-49 in March. In primetime, FNC delivered 2.4 million viewers, 375,000 in the 25-54 demographic, and 231,000 with A18-49 for the month. Meanwhile, both CNN and MSNBC fell to new lows in March, with the former notching its lowest-rated month in both categories since pre-pandemic February 2020 and the latter experiencing its least-watched month in total day demo since August 2019. Month over month, CNN and MSNBC both lost nearly a third of their audience in the demo, while FNC was the only cable news network to be up in the category.
For the first quarter of 2021, FNC was the most-watched network in primetime in all of basic cable, notching 77 straight quarters as the leading cable news channel with total viewers and number one in all of cable for the fifth consecutive quarter. The network earned 2.5 million viewers from 8-11PM/ET for the quarter, 391,000 in the 25-54 demographic, and 244,000 in the younger 18-49 category. In total day, FNC garnered 1.3 million viewers for the quarter, 221,000 with A25-54 and 130,000 with A18-49, surpassing MSNBC in the demo. The network remains the top-rated cable news network post-Inauguration to date in both total day and primetime total viewers. During the first quarter of 2021, FNC claimed three of the top four cable news programs in overall viewers, two of the top six in the key 25-54 demo and comprised 12 of the top 100 cable telecasts.
At 8PM/ET, Tucker Carlson Tonight completed the quarter as the top-rated program in its timeslot in both categories, averaging 3.4 million viewers and 567,000 in the demo, as well as 360,000 in the 18-49 category. FNC also finished the month of March with the number one program in cable news in all categories, with Tucker Carlson Tonight delivering 3.2 million viewers and 521,000 in the A25-54 demo and 331,000 in the in A18-49 category. Additionally, the program dominated several entertainment and news programs on broadcast in total viewers for the first quarter, including ABC’s This Week and A Million Little Things as well as NBC’s The TODAY Show. Hannity at 9PM/ET averaged 3 million viewers for the quarter, 483,000 in the demo and 299,000 among adults 18-49, and surpassing CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time in total viewers. In March, Hannity followed suit as the second most-watched program in the demo, with 443,000 in the demo as well as 2.8 million viewers and 265,000 in 18-49. The Ingraham Angle at 10PM/ET garnered 2.3 million viewers, 404,000 in the demo and 251,000 in 18-49 for the quarter.
Among FNC’s early and late evening programming, The Five (5PM/ET) dominated the quarter during the 5PM/ET hour with 2.8 million viewers and 391,000 in the 25-54 demo, besting CNN and MSNBC in total viewership. FNC’s primetime programming as well as The Five all surpassed CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, NBC’s 3rd Hour of TODAY and NBA Saturday basketball airing on ABC in overall viewers. Special Report with Bret Baier was number one in its timeslot (weeknights, 6PM/ET) among total viewers for the quarter, garnering 2.1 million viewers and 328,000 in the 25-54 demo. At 7PM/ET, FOX News Primetime, guest-hosted by various rotating guest hosts, averaged 1.8 million viewers, 287,000 in the 25-54 demo throughout the quarter. At 11PM/ET, FOX News @ Night with Shannon Bream had an average audience of 1.3 million viewers and 261,000 in the 25-54 demo for the quarter.
From 4-6AM/ET, FOX & Friends FIRST garnered 453,000 viewers during the first quarter. FNC’s signature morning show FOX & Friends (weekdays, 6-9AM/ET) marked the quarter with 1.1 million viewers and 204,000 in the demo, surpassing CNN’s New Day across both categories.
FNC’s new daytime lineup, announced at the beginning of the quarter, kicks off with two-hour morning news program America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino (weekdays, 9-11AM/ET), which saw 1.4 million viewers and 232,000 in the 25-54 demo. The Faulkner Focus at 11AM/ET, anchored by Harris Faulkner, also notched 1.4 million viewers and 208,000 in the 25-54 demo and bested MSNBC across the board. At 12PM/ET, Outnumbered earned 1.5 million viewers and 230,000 in the demo. From 1-3PM/ET, America Reports with John Roberts and Sandra Smith garnered 1.3 million viewers and 209,000 in the 25-54 demo. At 3PM/ET, anchor Martha MacCallum’s The Story averaged 1.2 million viewers and 200,000 in the 25-54 demo, while Your World with Neil Cavuto at 4PM/ET nabbed 1.3 million viewers and 215,000 in the 25-54 category for the quarter.
On the weekends, Saturday’s primetime powerhouse lineup crushed the competition, each sweeping their respective timeslots and beating the cable news competition combined in total viewers for the quarter. Watters’ World (Saturdays at 8PM/ET) earned the number one program in total viewers, with 2.1 million and 243,000 in the demo. Justice with Judge Jeanine (Saturdays at 9PM/ET) followed as the next most-watched, with 2 million viewers and 219,000 in the demo. The Greg Gutfeld Show (Saturdays at 10PM/ET) finished the quarter as the second highest-rated late-night program in total viewers with 1.9 million, topping various broadcast and cable late night comedy programs, including ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. The program, which moves to a weekday 11PM/ET timeslot on April 5th, also secured 257,000 in the demo. Cavuto Live airing on Saturday mornings earned 1.2 million viewers and 193,000 in the demo, beating MSNBC in its time slot.
On Sundays, FNC’s Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo (Sundays at 10AM/ET) crushed its timeslot, averaging 1.7 million total viewers and 262,000 in the demo. MediaBuzz, hosted by Howard Kurtz at 11AM/ET, delivered 1.4 million viewers and 217,000 in the 25-54 demo. Notably, MediaBuzz surpassed CNN’s Reliable Sources in total viewers for the month of March. At 8PM/ET, Life Liberty and Levin was the number one-rated program on Sundays for the quarter, earning 1.8 million viewers and 220,000 in the demo, while The Next Revolution with host Steve Hilton (Sunday at 9PM/ET) secured 1.4 million viewers and 191,000 in the demo. FOX & Friends Weekend (weekends from 6-10AM/ET) dominated CNN and MSNBC every hour in total viewers during the quarter, with 1.1 million and 187,000 in the demo. Additionally, FOX Report with Jon Scott (997,000 viewers; 139,000 A25-54) surpassed MSNBC in its time slot.
MARCH 2021 VS. MARCH 2020 NIELSEN NUMBERS (seven day week, L+SD):
FNC: 1,272,000 total viewers – down 40% (207,000 in 25-54 – down 51%)
CNN: 812,000 total viewers – down 32% (191,000 in 25-54 – down 48%)
MSNBC: 1,022,000 total viewers – down 19% (129,000 in 25-54 – down 41%)
FNC: 2,403,000 total viewers – down 34% (375,000 in 25-54 – down 45%)
CNN: 1,209,000 total viewers – down 37% (292,000 in 25-54 – down 53%)
MSNBC: 1,795,000 total viewers – down 19% (236,000 in 25-54 – down 41%)
MARCH 2021 RATINGS FOR THE TOP FIVE PROGRAMS IN CABLE NEWS:
Total Viewers: Tucker Carlson Tonight (3,227,000), The Rachel Maddow Show (3,035,000), Hannity (2,821,000), The Five (2,799,000), The Ingraham Angle (2,204,000)
Adults 25-54: Tucker Carlson Tonight (521,000), Hannity (443,000), The Rachel Maddow Show (425,000), The Five (380,000), The Ingraham Angle (370,000)
FIRST QUARTER 2021 RATINGS FOR THE TOP FIVE PROGRAMS IN CABLE NEWS:
Total Viewers: The Rachel Maddow Show (3,604,000), Tucker Carlson Tonight (3,427,000), Hannity (2,996,000), The Five (2,844,000), The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (2,647,000)
Adults 25-54: The Rachel Maddow Show (595,000), Cuomo Prime Time (572,000), Tucker Carlson Tonight (567,000), Anderson Cooper 360 (533,000), Erin Burnett OutFront (493,000)
1Q’21 VS. 1Q’20 NIELSEN NUMBERS (seven day week, L+SD):
FNC: 1,321,000 total viewers – down 31% (221,000 in 25-54 – down 38%)
CNN: 1,347,000 total viewers – up 50% (349,000 in 25-54 – up 38%)
MSNBC: 1,367,000 total viewers – up 25% (217,000 in 25-54 – up 20%)
FNC: 2,480,000 total viewers – down 27% (391,000 in 25-54 – down 33%)
CNN: 1,935,000 total viewers – up 35% (524,000 in 25-54 – up 22%)
MSNBC: 2,238,000 total viewers – up 16% (365,000 in 25-54 – up 7%)
FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking news as well as political and business news. The number one network in cable, FNC has been the most watched television news channel for 19 consecutive years. According to a 2021 Brand Keys Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index report, FOX News leads the news industry in both brand loyalty, engagement and expectations. A 2019 Suffolk University poll also named FOX News as the most trusted source for television news or commentary, while a 2019 Brand Keys Emotion Engagement Analysis survey found that FOX News was the most trusted cable news brand. Owned by FOX Corp, FNC is available in nearly 90 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top ten programs in the genre.