Fox News Dominates Weekly Ratings, Nearly Double MSNBC - And It's Really Bad for CNN
Buoyed by coverage of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, Fox News swept both the primetime and total day cable viewership categories for the first full week of the month — and it wasn’t even close.
Fox averaged 2.5 million viewers for the week of Feb. 6-12, compared to 1.3 million for MSNBC and just 719,000 for CNN, according to Nielsen live-same-day data.
Fox News’ State of the Union coverage averaged 4.7 million viewers, which put Fox on top of all broadcast and cable networks for the week, according to Next TV.
On a total day basis, Fox drew 1.5 million viewers, nearly double MSNBC’s 777,000 and triple CNN’s 500,000.
Among primetime viewers aged 25-54 — the demographic most coveted by advertisers — Fox averaged 359,000 viewers, compared to CNN’s 163,000 and MSNBC’s 159,000. Fox also prevailed in the total day figures for this age group, drawing an average of 205,000 viewers. CNN and MSNBC finished with 98,000 and 92,000 viewers, respectively.
Those numbers tell a story about Americans and their news media. But before we get to that, full data via Adweek can be viewed below:
These results can be considered in several ways.
There are three major cable news network. One provides news from a conservative perspective while the other two are decidedly liberal. The combined viewership of the two liberal networks is roughly equal to the total viewership of the single conservative network.
That indicates a fairly even split in the viewing population — a split that’s reflected by recent elections that have left both houses of Congress close to party parity and the presidency decided by tens of thousands of votes in key states among more than 150 million cast throughout the country.
On the other hand, Fox clearly dominated the ratings charts for the week (and an important week in the political world). One could say that, despite the cries from the left that the network is “destroying our democracy,” more Americans trust Fox for fair and balanced coverage of political news.
A look at the viewership trends for the three networks over the past few years provides more clarity. Fox’s viewership has increased while both MSNBC and CNN have shed viewers. In fact, MSNBC and CNN suffered their worst ratings years ever in 2022.
According to Forbes, Fox’s viewership fell by 1 percent in 2022 year-over-year while MSNBC’s and CNN’s fell by 21 percent and 33 percent, respectively. Those are devastating numbers by anyone’s standards.
Although Fox’s viewership declined slightly, it pales in comparison to the losses at the other networks. It’s not surprising that Americans’ interest in the news would decline after the first year of a new presidency. What is surprising is that Fox only lost 1 percent while the other networks suffered meaningful losses.
Fox ended the year “with an average prime time audience of 2.33 million viewers, well ahead of MSNBC (1.208 million viewers) and CNN (730,000 viewers),” Forbes reported.
The report noted that 2022 was the seventh consecutive year that Fox has dominated the cable news ratings war.
So, I think it’s fair to say that after being lied to about major stories such as the Russian collusion hoax and the Hunter Biden laptop, Americans are losing trust in MSNBC and CNN as sources for their news at the same time they appear to be gaining faith in Fox.
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