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CNN Drops 68% In Prime As Fox News Channel Crushes Competition In Q2 Cable News Ratings – Forbes

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 20: The News Corp. building on 6th Avenue, home to Fox News, the New York Post … [+] and the Wall Street Journal, on March 20, 2019 in New York City, New York. Disney acquired Fox today in a $71.3 million deal. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)
Fox News Channel dominated the cable news competition in the second quarter of 2021, winning across all metrics: among total viewers in prime time and daytime, and among viewers 25-54, the demographic group most valued by national advertisers.
FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight was the most-watched show in cable news for the quarter, with a total audience of 2.924 million viewers. Tucker Carlson also finished first in the key demo, with an average audience of 487,000 viewers.
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 29: Fox News host Tucker Carlson discusses ‘Populism and the Right’ during … [+] the National Review Institute’s Ideas Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Carlson talked about a large variety of topics including dropping testosterone levels, increasing rates of suicide, unemployment, drug addiction and social hierarchy at the summit, which had the theme ‘The Case for the American Experiment.’ (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Overall, Fox News had four of the top five most-watched shows in cable news, with Tucker Carlson Tonight in first place among total viewers, followed by Hannity (2.653 million viewers), The Five (2.632 million viewers), MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (2.504 million viewers) and FNC’s The Ingraham Angle (2.071 million viewers).
In the key demo, Tucker Carlson Tonight was first, followed by Hannity (420,000 viewers), The Five (385,000 viewers), The Ingraham Angle (361,000 viewers) and MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (349,000 viewers).
For the quarter, Fox News was way out in front in prime time, delivering a total audience of 2.176 million viewers. MSNBC was second with 1.463 million viewers, and CNN was third with 914,000 viewers—all according to ratings data compiled by Nielsen. In the key demo, Fox took first place in prime time with 347,000 viewers, followed by CNN (224,000 viewers) and MSNBC (198,000 viewers).
Fox News’ quarterly ratings delivery was its second straight quarter as the top-rated network not just in cable news, but in all of basic cable—and posting its 78th consecutive quarterly win among the cable news networks among total viewers and its sixth consecutive quarterly win in the key demo.
All of the cable news networks saw ratings declines compared to the second quarter of 2020, with CNN experiencing the biggest year-over-year drop in prime time, down 57%. Fox News declined by 42%, and MSNBC had the smallest drop among total viewers in prime, down 37%.
In the key demo the year-over-year declines in prime time were more dramatic, with CNN slipping a staggering 68% compared to the second quarter of 2020. Fox News saw a 50% drop compared to one year ago, and MSNBC’s decline was just slightly less, at 48%.
For MSNBC, the second quarter represented the network’s 47th consecutive quarter finishing ahead of CNN—among both total viewers and viewers 25-54.


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