The Metrics: Fox News vs. Mainstream Media



See updates at end.

Left-leaning news channels have ten times the number of nightly viewers as Fox News

Fox News: 2,440,000
ABC, CBS & NBC: 20,600,000
PBS NewsHour: 1,100,000
CNN & MSNBC: 2,300,000
Total left-leaning news channels: 24,000,000

See data sources below.

Average nightly viewers of Fox News: 2,440,000

Source: Nielsen Media Research


Average nightly viewers of ABC News’s “World News Tonight,” CBS News’s “Evening News,” and NBC News’s “Nightly News” for the week of October 7, 2019: 20,600,000

Source: AdWeek

Average nightly viewers of PBS “NewsHour” in 2018: 1,100,000

Source: Pew Research Center

Average nightly viewers of CNN & MSNBC: 2,300,000

Source: Nielsen Media Research


August 10, 2020: New data shows Fox News viewership is stronger in prime time than I indicated in my original report.

In recent months I’ve been criticized for allegedly not fairly comparing viewership across news programs and channels.  Specifically, that I used (a) broadcast networks’ 6:30pm news programs, against Fox News’s prime time news shows.

Here is some updated information that will present a more complete picture.

ABC-CBS-NBC’s 6:30pm newscasts combined viewership: 21.9 million.

In comparison, Bret Baier’s “Special Report” program, which runs from 6-7pm weeknights, attracted an average of 3 million viewers, over the past year, but has shown strong gains.

As documented below, however, Fox News’s two most popular shows, “Hannity” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” average more than 4 million viewers per night, often more than the broadcast networks’ prime time fare.

And from:

NETWORK RATINGS ROUNDUP: JULY 6-12: Evening News Outpaces Primetime Fare, by David Bauder, TV Newser, July 15, 2020. Excerpt:

The broadcast networks might want to consider promoting David Muir, Lester Holt and Norah O’Donnell, at least in the summer months.

ABC’s Muir-hosted “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “Nightly News” with Holt both averaged more viewers than any single program in primetime television last week, the Nielsen company said.

The “CBS Evening News” with O’Donnell wasn’t that far behind. “World News Tonight” averaged 9 million viewers for its five telecasts last week. “Nightly News” had 7.6 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million.

The first weeks of July are generally the least-watched in television all year, with reruns dominating the schedule and the outdoors beckoning.

For the week of July 6-12, the top 20 prime time programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.05 million.

2. “NCIS,” CBS, 5.53 million.

3. “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 5.13 million.

4. “FBI,” CBS, 4.63 million.

5. “Hannity” (Thursday), Fox News, 4.47 million.

6. “America’s Got Talent,” NBC, 4.39 million.

7. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Monday), Fox News, 4.3 million.

8. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Wednesday), Fox News, 4.29 million.

9. “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 4.21 million.

10. “Hannity” (Monday), Fox News, 4.14 million.

11. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 4.135 million.

12. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 4.12 million.

13. “Tough as Nails,” CBS, 4.1 million.

14. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News, 4.06 million.

15. “Hannity” (Tuesday), Fox News, 3.97 million.

16. “Hannity” (Wednesday), Fox News, 3.92 million.

17. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox News, 3.865 million.

18. “Titan Games,” NBC, 3.85 million.

19. “Bob Hearts Abishola,” CBS, 3.79 million.

20. “Magnum P.I.,” CBS, 3.78 million.

Conclusion: While the broadcast networks’ offerings, plus PBS, CNN & MSNBC, do indeed reach nearly ten times more viewers than Fox News during 6-7pm weeknights, Fox News dominates prime-time, when compared only against CNN & MSNBC’s competing programs.





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