Fox News is celebrating ratings success from this past year which made them the highest-rated cable news channel in history.
The numbers come from Nielsen Media Research and indicate that Fox is the cable news king for a fifth consecutive year.
The network boasts that in 2020, “viewers tuned in for the latest information on the presidential election, the coronavirus and everything in between.”
“Fox News led among cable networks in the total day demographic for the first time with 1.89 million viewers,” The Hill reports. “In primetime, it had almost 3.62 million viewers.”
Sean Hannity’s show finished first amongst all cable news programs with an average of 4.4 million total viewers, while Tucker Carlson was right behind averaging 4.37 million viewers.
“This ratings milestone is a testament to the incredible work of the Fox News Channel team during a pivotal year,” Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said.
“We are immensely proud and honored to once again serve as the destination for news and opinion in America.”
“Fox News Channel is closing the year with the highest prime time and total day ratings in cable news history, averaging 1.9 million viewers in total day and 3.6 million viewers in prime time.” https://t.co/R6UbKY0LhQ
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) December 17, 2020
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Fox News Ratings on the Slide?
It’s certainly difficult to argue with those ratings for Fox News and we won’t. They had a great year, it’s clear.
For the majority of the year, the network put on solid programming – with mainstays like Hannity staying true to his own values, Carlson remaining the gold standard in cable news broadcasting, and fun shows like The Five.
But it would sure be interesting to see how November into December compares to the rest of the year.
You know, when Fox went off the deep end by prematurely calling state election results, hosts started censoring legal challenges to the election, and others simply mocked people who value the integrity of the voting process.
Neil Cavuto cuts away from White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany because he deems her words too dangerous to hear.
Instead of letting us decide, he interprets her meaning for us, even using words she never said.
Fox News: We Report & We Decide (shut up and obey). pic.twitter.com/fDPfoNhVvM
— Tim Xeriland (@Xeriland) November 10, 2020
For instance, The Hill analyzes that CNN and MSNBC both had impressive numbers of their own.
MSNBC described a “record-breaking year in total viewers” and the sixth consecutive year of growth, while CNN celebrated its “best year ever” in ratings.
Media analyst Joe Concha, a Fox News contributor, shared a Hill report from earlier this month which showed the network earning the highest November ratings in the network’s history.
OK – here’s the final numbers for all of November: https://t.co/dIYXZgtET2
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) December 17, 2020
Day-to-day reports by Adweek in December, however, show the two left-wing media networks on top several times, as well as other days in which Fox News split ratings supremacy with others.
It’s More Complex Than Just Numbers
The makeup of Fox News’ contributors makes it one of the more unique networks on cable news and might be helping to make the matter of ratings more complex.
How is each show faring, for example? As election results came in and supporters of President Trump became dismayed at slanted coverage coming across their airwaves, they had to find trusted media personalities.
Hannity and Tucker certainly fit the bill. Did shows that frequently feature liberal guests such as Juan Williams, Donna Brazile, or Marie Harf see their ratings go up as well? Or did they go down while Hannity and Carlson went up?
We know Marth MacCallum had some trouble, becoming the first show on Fox to lose to another on the competing channel, Newsmax.
Newsmax TV scored their historic, first-ever ratings victory over Fox News Channel earlier this month, according to a CNN Business report.
The notable win came in the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic prized by advertisers, when the “Greg Kelly Reports” show topped Fox’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”
Kelly’s show averaged 229,000 viewers compared to MacCallum’s which averaged 203,000.
— Newsmax (@newsmax) December 9, 2020
President Trump has consistently urged his followers to watch alternative networks such as Newsmax and often takes swipes at the perceived shift in reporting at Fox.
“Can’t believe how badly [Fox News] is doing in the ratings,” Trump recently tweeted. “They played right into the hands of the Radical Left Democrats, [and] now are floating in limboland.”
So far, the numbers aren’t exactly bearing that out. But there may be more of a story hidden underneath.
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