Fox News which has dominated cable news for more than 17 years ended 2019 with the largest primetime ratings in its history according to Nielsen.
Among the big three cable news networks, Fox News was the only one to show an overall primetime audience gain with a modest increase of 2 percent to 2.481 average viewers compared to the 2 percent drop at CNN (972,000) and 3 percent falloff at MSNBC (1.753 million). To underscore Fox’s dominance, CNN and MSNBC combined barely outdrew Fox News alone.
In the critical advertiser supported key demo all three networks suffered steep drops, but Fox still led the way with an average of 390K viewers (-16 percent), followed by MSNBC with 281K (-21 percent) and CNN at 256K (-21 percent).
Fox News was led By Sean Hannity which finished the year as the most-watched cable news program with an average of 3.26 million viewers per night and 528K in the demo. Hannity was followed closely by Tucker Carlson Tonight with 3.02 million viewers and 509K in the highly coveted 25-54 demographic. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show finished third with 2.8 million viewers and 465K in the demo. Fox’s The Ingraham Angle with Laura Ingraham (2.57 million total, 420k demo), and The Five (2.55 million total, 392k demo) rounded out the top five.