For the first half of 2021, Fox ranked first in across the day (averaging 1.3 million) and in primetime viewers (2.3 million). MSNBC finished second in both categories (1.1 million and 1.9 million, respectively), and CNN ranked third (1 million and 1.4 million primetime), according to Nielsen figures for the year to date through June 27.
After retaking the lead from CNN last winter, Fox’s margin over its two cable-news competitors grew larger as the months passed since the election turmoil. From April to June, Fox averaged 1.2 million viewers per day, far ahead of MSNBC (847,000) and CNN (654,000). In primetime, it was even further ahead (2.2 million viewers to MSNBC’s 1.5 million and CNN’s 914,000).
Temporary ratings reversal:CNN moves to No. 1, Fox drops in post-election ratings shake-up: Will it last?
Two Fox primetime programs, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (2.9 million) and “Hannity” (2.7 million) were the second quarter’s most-watched cable shows, followed by Fox’s “The Five” (2.6 million), MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” (2.5 million) and Fox’s “The Ingraham Angle” (2.1 million).
All three cable-news networks were down at least 30% from the same period last year: Fox News declined 39%, CNN was down 45% and MSNBC dropped 30%. It’s unclear how much of that drop…