August showed overall modest viewing declines for MSNBC and CNN versus the previous month, with cable TV news leader Fox News Channel rising 16%.
The big change that led to Fox’s upswing, according to analysts, was high interest in The Biden Administration’s recent decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by August 31.
President Biden announced a troop withdrawal on August 13, and it was completed on August 31.
Fox News Channel grew 16% to 2.47 million Nielsen-measured viewers in its live program-plus-same-day, time-shifted viewing metric for primetime versus the previous month. MSNBC was down 6% versus July to 1.23 million and CNN slipped 4% to 819,000 viewers.
All three networks are still down by double-digit percentages versus August 2020, due to a highly viewed and competitive presidential election race and keen viewer interest in ongoing COVID-19 pandemic issues.
Fox was down 32% in primetime from August 2020, while MSNBC sank 44% and CNN was down by 51%.
Total day viewing moved along somewhat similar trend lines. Fox ended the month averaging 1.42 million in total day Monday-Sunday viewing, while MSNBC came in at 732,000 and CNN was at 621,000.
Top-paying Fox prime-time advertisers for August, according to iSpot.tv, include Balance of Nature, Liberty Mutual, NewDay USA, Verizon, Relief Factor, Nutrisystem, Golden Corral, USAA, Indeed and Safelite Auto Glass.
For MSNBC, advertisers include Liberty Mutual, Verizon, Progressive, Citi, Allstate, Jeep, Amazon Web Services, Angi, Safelite Auto Glass and Volvo.
Advertisers for CNN include IHOP, Carvana, Noom, Maune Raichle Hartley French & Mudd, University of Phoenix, Liberty Mutual, Indeed, PNC Financial Services, Applebee’s and Visible.