Cable News Networks Score Record Ratings in 2nd Quarter, Fox News Wins Overall Viewership

Homebound viewers handed all three cable news networks major ratings rewards


Homebound viewers handed all three major cable news networks big ratings rewards in the second quarter of 2020, though Fox News pulled in the most viewers overall with a quarterly daily average of 1.96 million.

In total, according to Nielsen Media Research, Fox News secured 1,958,000  total average viewers per day in Q2. MSNBC was in second place with 1.21 million while CNN brought in 1.19,000. All three channels had their highest-rated quarters in history.

In the advertiser-coveted news demographic of 25 to 54, Fox News brought in an average of 366,000 viewers. CNN was in second place with 335,000 average total-day demo viewers, which was an increase of 150% over Q2 2019. MSNBC’s average total-day demo viewers averaged 193,000.

MSNBC and CNN both saw year-over-year growth, growing more than Fox News.

In primetime, Fox News delivered 3.57 million total average viewers, of whom 624,000 were in the key demo. CNN was in third place for total primetime viewers, but second for demo viewers, pulling in an average of 1.81 million and 528,000, respectively. MSNBC saw nearly 2.00 million total average primetime viewers and 315,000 in the demo.

Notably for Fox News, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” delivered the highest viewership in cable news history, breaking the previous record, set the previous quarter by Carlson’s colleague Sean Hannity.

CNN had a major dayside accomplishment, eking out the number-one spot in all of cable from 9 a.m. ET to 4 p.m. ET during the quarter. CNN was also number one in the demo during dayside for the first time in cable news in 19 years.