FOX News Channel Dominates February as Top-rated Cable Network in Primetime Total Viewers

FOX News Channel (FNC) finished the month of February as the top-rated network in all of cable in primetime, according to Nielsen Media Research and remained the top-rated network in all of cable in primetime total viewers post-Inauguration to date. CNN notably saw their ratings decline, losing nearly 50 percent of their viewership in the coveted 25-54 demographic in both total day and primetime versus the prior month. FNC also continued its streak as number one in all of television in weekday primetime, topping all broadcast networks in total viewers since Memorial Day 2020 to date. Various daytime and primetime programs earned the number one spot in their respective timeslots in total viewers, including America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino and The Faulkner Focus, which were part of FNC’s new daytime lineup that started in mid-January, as well as Outnumbered, The Five, and Tucker Carlson Tonight.

In total day viewership, FNC delivered 1.3 million viewers for the month of February, 210,000 in the 25-54 demo, and 119,000 in the 18-49 demo, outpacing sports-focused ESPN in both dayparts with total viewership. In primetime, FNC secured 2.5 million viewers, 365,000 in the 25-54 demo, and 225,000 in the 18-49 demo. In February, FNC claimed 33 of the top 100 cable telecasts in total viewers as well three of the top five cable news programs in total viewers, including Tucker Carlson Tonight (weeknights, 8PM/ET) Hannity (weeknights, 9PM/ET) and The Five (weekdays, 5PM/ET). Additionally, former president Donald Trump’s speech at CPAC carried live on FNC was the number one-rated cable telecast for the month in total viewers and the network’s highest rated viewership ever in the Sunday time slot. In fact, the telecast was the highest 5PM/ET hour ever on a Sunday among total viewers.

FNC’s primetime powerhouse lineup continued to surpass broadcast in weekday primetime summer to date. Tucker Carlson Tonight finished February as the second highest-rated show in both categories, with 3.4 million viewers, 515,000 in the 25-54 demo, and 317,000 in the 18-49 demo and besting the competition in the 8PM/ET time slot in total viewers and the 25-54 demo. The program airing on February 17th surpassed CNN’s town hall with President Joe Biden the day prior with total viewers as well as ABC’s This Week and NBC’s Ellen’s Game of Games. Hannity followed suit, ranking as the third highest-rated program in total viewers, averaging 2.9 million, 435,000 in the 25-54 demo, and 267,000 in the 18-49 demo and beating out CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time in total viewers. Hannity and Tucker Carlson Tonight also both outpaced ABC’s The View airing on broadcast. At 10PM/ET, The Ingraham Angle secured 2.2 million viewers and 357,000 in the 25-54 demo and 219,000 in the 18-49 category, scoring a win over CNN Tonight with Don Lemon in total viewers. Additionally, FNC’s entire primetime lineup beat all of CNN’s primetime programs with total viewers.

Chief political anchor Bret Baier’s Special Report (weekdays, 6PM/ET) delivered over 2 million viewers and 293,000 in the demo and outpaced the competition on CNN in total viewers. At 5PM/ET, The Five earned 2.8 million viewers and 370,000 in the 25-54 demo, crushing CNN and MSNBC in its time slot and earning the fourth most-watched program in cable news in total viewers. At 7PM/ET, the network’s newly-launched program FOX News Primetime, which was helmed separately by guest-hosts Trey Gowdy, Rachel Campos-Duffy, Katie Pavlich and Mark Steyn this month, saw growth in both categories (+6 percent in total viewers and +14 percent in the 25-54 demo from launch to date), notching 1.8 million viewers and 268,000 in the key demo. The program is also up by double digit percentages over CNN from February 15th to date in total viewers.

Beginning the day, FOX & Friends FIRST (weekdays, 4-6AM/ET) with Jillian Mele and Todd Piro garnered 449,000 total viewers and 85,000 in 25-54 demo. FNC’s signature morning show FOX & Friends (weekdays, 6-9AM/ET) delivered 1.1 million viewers and 188,000 in the 25-54 category, beating out CNN’s New Day with both categories. The network’s revamped two-hour morning news offering, America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino (weekdays, 9-11AM/ET) was the most-watched in cable news in its timeslot, notching 1.4 million viewers and 223,000 in the demo. The Faulkner Focus with Harris Faulkner also garnered 1.4 million viewers and 203,000 in the demo, dominating the 11AM/ET hour over CNN and MSNBC.

FNC’s afternoon ensemble program, Outnumbered (12PM/ET), averaged 1.5 million viewers and 213,000 in the demo, as well as earning the top spot in total viewers versus the cable news competition. From 1-3PM/ET, America Reports with John Roberts and Sandra Smith scored 1.3 million viewers and 189,000 in the 25-54 demo. The Story with Martha MacCallum at 3PM/ET averaged 1.3 million viewers and 186,000 in the demo, while Your World with Neil Cavuto at 4PM/ET also brought in 1.3 million viewers and 192,000 with A25-54. In the evening, FOX News @ Night with Shannon Bream (weeknights, 11PM/ET) saw an audience of 1.2 million viewers and 227,000 in the key demo, outpacing the competition on CNN in total viewers.

On the weekends, FNC was the number one cable news network on Saturday among total day and primetime in total viewership, as well as the top-rated cable news network in the 25-54 demographic in primetime, with each program winning in their respective timeslots. FNC’s powerhouse primetime lineup surpassed both CNN and MSNBC combined in viewership, with Watters’ World (Saturdays, 8PM/ET) earning the top-rated program on Saturdays during the month of February in total viewers, securing 2.1 million total viewers and 236,000 in the demo. Justice with Judge Jeanine (Saturdays, 9PM/ET) scored 2.1 million viewers and 213,000 in the demo. The Greg Gutfeld Show (Saturdays, 10PM/ET) garnered 2 million viewers and 274,000 in the A25-54 demo and surpassed various late-night programs airing on broadcast in total viewership, including ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! and NBC’s The Tonight Show. Additionally, Cavuto Live (Saturdays, 10AM-12PM/ET) earned 1.3 million viewers and 208,000 in the demo, while FOX Report with Jon Scott (weekends, 6PM/ET) averaged 1.2 million viewers and 155,000 in the demo.

FNC dominated Sundays as the top-rated network in total day and primetime in total viewers as well as the most-watched in the 25-54 demographic in total day. Life, Liberty and Levin at 8PM/ET scored the highest-rated program on Sundays with total viewers, earning 1.9 million and 242,000 with A25-54. Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo (Sundays, 10AM/ET) averaged 1.7 million viewers and 264,000 in the demo, surpassing the competition in the timeslot in both categories and earning the second highest-rated program on Sundays in both total viewers and in the demo. MediaBuzz hosted by Howard Kurtz (Sundays, 11AM/ET) delivered 1.5 million viewers and 216,000 in the 25-54 category, securing a win over CNN’s Reliable Sources in total viewers. The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton (Sundays, 9PM/ET) garnered 1.4 million total viewers and 215,000 with A25-54. Additionally, FOX & Friends Weekend (weekends, 6-10AM/ET) was number one in its time slot in total viewership, earning 1.1 million viewers and 191,000 in the 25-54 demo.

FEBRUARY 2021 RATINGS FOR THE TOP FIVE PROGRAMS IN CABLE NEWS:

Total Viewers: The Rachel Maddow Show (3,541,000), Tucker Carlson Tonight (3,390,000), Hannity (2,937,000), The Five (2,846,000), The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (2,553,000)
Adults 25-54: The Rachel Maddow Show (567,000), Tucker Carlson Tonight (515,000), Anderson Cooper 360 (480,000), Cuomo Prime Time (466,000), Hannity (435,000)

FEBRUARY 2021 VS. FEBRUARY 2020 NIELSEN NUMBERS (7-day week, L+SD):

TOTAL DAY:
FNC:
1,323,000 total viewers – down 32% (210,000 in 25-54 – down 38%)
CNN: 1,191,000 total viewers – up 76% (281,000 in 25-54 – up 64%)
MSNBC: 1,360,000 total viewers – up 37% (206,000 in 25-54 – up 31%)

PRIMETIME: 8-11PM/ET
FNC:
2,473,000 total viewers – down 30% (365,000 in 25-54 – down 38%)
CNN: 1,687,000 total viewers – up 61% (411,000 in 25-54 – up 39%)
MSNBC: 2,193,000 total viewers – up 23% (340,000 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.

Contacts:

FOX News Media Contact:
Tess Glancey/212-301-3285

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