Fox News Beats CNN and MSNBC Combined in Kavanaugh Hearing Viewers

More than 11 million people tuned in across cable news

brett kavanaugh
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More than 11 million people tuned in to cable news Thursday for the testimonies of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Fox News Channel was the clear winner in terms of TV ratings, with its average of 5.7 million total viewers beating CNN and MSNBC’s hauls combined.

Below are Nielsen’s averages from the lengthy hearing, which ran from 10 a.m. ET to about 6:45 p.m. ET. The rankings are sorted in such a way that values overall eyeballs over viewers from the key demographic, so as to distinguish between MSNBC and CNN.

  1. Fox News Channel: 5,691,000 total viewers; 1,073,000 adults 25-54
  2. MSNBC: 2,892,000 total viewers; 464,000 adults 25-54
  3. CNN: 2,515,000 total viewers; 736,000 adults 25-54

Fox’s combined total tune-in win continued into primetime. See those averages below.

  1. FNC: 5,503,000 total viewers; 1,313,000 adults 25-54
  2. MSNBC: 3,176,000 total viewers; 721,000 adults 25-54
  3. CNN: 1,896,000 total viewers; 669,000 adults 25-54

As you can see, in 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. averages, MSNBC was No. 2 outright over CNN.

On Thursday, Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford each testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and offered starkly differing narratives. Ford said that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her while drunk at a party during the early 1980s. Kavanaugh said that he did no such thing and wasn’t at the event that Ford described.

Over nine hours, both offered passionate, raw and emotional testimony from their respective positions. Many senators were visibly torn by the spectacle and a general bipartisan consensus on cable news noted that it would be extremely difficult to ascertain the absolute truth based on the testimony alone of either witness.

On Friday, the committee voted 11-10 to recommend Kavanaugh for confirmation to the Supreme Court. The vote went exactly as expected, with all 11 Republicans voting in favor and each of the 10 Democrats opposing the recommendation.