Fox News came very close to sweeping the 100 most-watched cable telecasts for the month of August, taking 94 of the top 100 and 13 of the 14 top-rated cable news programs, according to ratings data compiled by Nielsen.
Overall, the most-watched show in cable news was Tucker Carlson Tonight, which delivered an average total audience of 3.3 million viewers, followed by Hannity (3.009 million viewers), The Ingraham Angle (2.394 million viewers) and Special Report with Bret Baier (2.186 million viewers)—all on Fox News Channel.
Among viewers 25-54, the key demographic group for advertisers, Tucker Carlson Tonight finished first with an average audience of 551,000 viewers, followed by Hannity (503,000 viewers), The Five (460,000 viewers), The Ingraham Angle (410,000 viewers) and Special Report with Bret Baier (349,000 viewers)—another sweep for FNC.
In prime time, Fox News dominated with an average total audience of 2.474 million viewers, far ahead of MSNBC (1.229 million viewers) and CNN (819,000 viewers). All three networks saw declines from the same month one year ago, in the middle of a pandemic and a presidential election year, which drove viewership to high levels. In prime time, Fox News had the smallest decline, down 32%, while MSNBC was down 44% and CNN had the largest decline in prime, down 51%.
In the key demo, Fox News finished first with 394,000 viewers (down 38% from the same month one year ago), followed by CNN (191,000 viewers, down 58% year-over-year) and MSNBC (163,000 viewers, down 55% year-over-year).
MSNBC’s highest-rated show in August was The Rachel Maddow Show, which finished sixth overall with a total audience of 2.063 million viewers. MSNBC had six of the top 20 most-watched shows on the month, with The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell taking 15th place (1.370 million viewers), Deadline White House in 16th (1.258 million viewers), The Beat with Ari Melber in 17th (1.251 million viewers), All In with Chris Hayes in 18th (1.220 million viewers) and The Reidout taking 20th place overall (1.106 million viewers).
None of CNN’s shows broke the one million viewer mark, with the network’s highest-rated hour, Cuomo Prime Time, finishing in 22nd place overall with a total audience of 930,000 viewers.