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FOX News Channel Finishes 25th Anniversary Year as Most-Watched Basic Cable Network for Sixth Consecutive Year Across Total Day and Primetime in Total Viewers

FOX News Channel (FNC) capped off its 25th anniversary year by dominating all of basic cable in total day and primetime for the sixth consecutive year, according to Nielsen Media Research. In primetime, FNC averaged 2,365,000 viewers and 374,000 with A25-54 along with 233,000 in A18-49. Meanwhile, in total day, the network delivered 1,328,000 viewers and 223,000 in the younger 25-54 demo and 135,000 in A18-49. The network was the most-watched basic cable network, obliterating CNN and MSNBC across the board, and the only cable network to deliver over two million viewers in primetime and one million in total day. According to data from Nielsen/MRI Fusion, this year, more independents and democrats tuned into FNC than CNN while delivering the largest independent audience in cable news, making FNC’s audience the most politically diverse (graph attached) in cable news. Notably, FNC holds 44% of the cable news audience in total day viewership and 41% of the audience with A25-54. In primetime, the network holds a 47% audience share in total viewers and 43% in the younger A25-54 demo. As a result, FNC increased its share of the cable news audience with A25-54 from 2020 to 2021.

In commenting on the 2021 ratings, FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said, “As we embark on our 20th year as the leader in cable news, the last six of which as number one in all of cable, I am incredibly proud of the unrivaled success we’ve had at FOX News Channel. Not only were we the only network to grow our audience share, but we did so while changing our lineup and transforming the entire late-night television landscape in the process, ensuring our continued momentum for many years to come.”

Tucker Carlson Tonight finished 2021 as the highest-rated program in cable news, averaging 3,219,000 viewers, 537,000 with A25-54 and 340,000 with A18-49. At 5PM/ET, FNC’s late afternoon program The Five (weekdays, 5PM/ET) topped all daytime and primetime programming on CNN and MSNBC, delivering the second largest audience in cable news in total viewers with 2,924,000 viewers and 422,000 in the 25-54 demo, making it the only non-primetime show to rank in the top five notching its second highest ranking in program history. In the younger A25-54 demo, Hannity at 9PM/ET was the second highest-rated cable news program with 463,000 A25-54 and saw 2,881,000 in total viewers. At 10PM/ET, Laura Ingraham finished the second year in a row as the most-watched female in cable news with A25-54 as host of The Ingraham Angle. FNC programs comprised 10 of the top 15 programs in cable news, including Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Five, Hannity, The Ingraham Angle, Special Report with Bret Baier, FOX News Primetime, Gutfeld!, Outnumbered, America’s Newsroom and The Faulkner Focus. The network also notched nine of the top 15 programs in the younger 25-54 demo, including Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity, The Five, The Ingraham Angle, Special Report with Bret Baier, Gutfeld!, FOX News Primetime, Outnumbered and America’s Newsroom.

This year, FNC entered the late night space with Gutfeld!, hosted by Greg Gutfeld, and promptly became the home of the second highest-rated program in late night television (1,693,000 P2+ and 324,000 A25-54), topping broadcast offerings ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, NBC’s The Tonight Show, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, among other broadcast and cable programs. Gutfeld! was also the first late night television host to unseat CBS’ Stephen Colbert as the most-watched late night television host for a full week since 2018, finishing several weeks in 2021 with the largest audience in all of late night television. Following Gutfeld! at 12AM/ET, FOX News @ Night with Shannon Bream, which debuted in its new timeslot earlier this year, improved the timeslot’s ratings across the board. Also in 2021, FNC launched a new daytime lineup on January 18th, increasing the network’s daytime ratings by double-digits in total viewers (+12%) and the younger 25-54 demo (+27%) from 9AM-4PM/ET.

During 2021, Special Report with Bret Baier at 6PM/ET nabbed 2.1 million viewers and 332,000 in the 25-54 demo while FOX News Primetime at 7PM/ET secured 1.87 million viewers and 307,000 in the 25-54 demo.

FNC’s signature morning franchise, FOX & Friends, remained cable’s most-turned to morning show, kicking off weekdays at 4AM/ET with FOX & Friends First delivering 468,000 viewers and 95,000 in the 25-54 demo while FOX & Friends (6-9 AM/ET) continued to rank as the highest-rated morning program on cable, averaging 1.2 million viewers and 211,000 in the 25-54 demo. FNC’s newly-launched daytime lineup posted double-digit gains versus the month prior. Beginning with America’s Newsroom (weekdays, 9-11AM/ET), co-anchors Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino pulled in an audience of 1.5 million viewers and 247,000 in A25-54. At 11AM/ET, Harris Faulkner’s The Faulkner Focus delivered 1,470,000 viewers and 236,000 in the younger 25-54 demo. FNC’s Outnumbered (weekdays at 12PM/ET) with co-hosts Harris Faulkner, Emily Compagno and Kayleigh McEnany had an audience of 1.58 million viewers and 250,000 in A25-54. America Reports with John Roberts and Sandra Smith (weekdays from 1-3PM/ET), garnered 1.4 million viewers and 237,000 in A25-54. At 3PM/ET, The Story with Martha MacCallum delivered 1.4 million viewers and 230,000 in the younger demo while Your World with Neil Cavuto averaged 1.42 million viewers and 237,000 in the 25-54 demo.

FNC’s weekend programming continued to exert its ratings strength, beginning with FOX & Friends Weekend (Saturdays and Sundays, 6-10AM/ET) topping CNN and MSNBC across the board with 1.2 million viewers and 197,000 with A25-54. Cavuto Live (10AM/ET) crushed the competition on Saturday mornings, averaging 1.2 million viewers and 194,000 in A25-54. At 6PM/ET on Saturdays, FOX Report with Jon Scott delivered 1 million viewers and 141,000 in A25-54. FNC’s The Big Saturday Show garnered an audience of 917,000 viewers and 137,000 in A25-54. During primetime on Saturdays, FNC dominated CNN and MSNBC, beginning with Watters’ World at 8PM/ET (1,868,000 P2+; 226,000 A25-54), the weekend’s highest-rated program in total viewers, Justice with Judge Jeanine at 9PM/ET (1,816,000 P2+; 209,000 A25-54) and the newly launched Unfiltered with Dan Bongino at 10PM/ET (1,538,000 P2+; 218,000 25-54). Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo (Sundays at 10AM/ET) was the highest-rated program of the weekend this year in the younger A25-54 demo, averaging 1.65 million viewers and 249,000 in A25-54. At 11AM/ET, MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz notched 1.3 million viewers and 211,000 in the 25-54 demo, crushing CNN’s Reliable Sources across the board. FNC’s The Big Sunday Show at 5PM/ET was the highest-rated program in its hour, delivering 917,000 in viewers and 137,000 with A25-54. At 7PM/ET, FNC’s recently-launched Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy topped the competition with 1.4 million viewers and 172,000 in A25-54 and at 8PM/ET, Life, Liberty & Levin notched Sunday’s largest audience in total viewers with 1.6 million viewers and 195,000 in the 25-54 demo. The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton won its timeslot with total viewers, delivering 1.3 million viewers and 180,000 in A25-54.

Nielsen Cable News Ratings for 2021 (12/28/20-12/09/21) vs. 2020 (12/30/19-12/27/20)

Primetime:

FNC: 2,365,000 P2+ (down 34%); 374,000 25-54 (down 41%)
CNN: 1,103,000 P2+ (down 38%); 276,000 25-54 (down 46%)
MSNBC: 1,554,000 P2+ (down 27%); 220,000 25-54 (down 38%)

Total Day:

FNC: 1,328,000 P2+ (down 29%); 223,000 25-54 (down 35%)
CNN: 787,000 P2+ (down 31%); 190,000 25-54 (down 39%)
MSNBC: 919,000 P2+ (down 26%); 128,000 25-54 (down 36%)

About FOX News Channel

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 basic cable, FNC has been the most watched television news channel for nearly 20 consecutive years. According to Nielsen Media Research, FNC currently attracts more than 50% of the cable news viewing audience. Notably, a 2021 Nielsen/MRI Fusion report showed the network garners the largest independent audience in cable news, while FNC’s primetime hours deliver the second largest liberal audience in cable news. Additionally, a 2021 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index report stated FOX News leads the news industry in both brand loyalty, engagement and expectations. Owned by FOX Corp, FNC is available in 80 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top 10 programs in the genre.

Contacts:

FOX News Media Contacts
Caley Cronin/212.301.3972
Ali Coscia/212.301.3272
Connor Smith/212.301.3879

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