Fox News Only News Net To Show YOY Growth, Leads In Prime

Driven by the surge of interest in live breaking news of Russia invading Ukraine, and compared to the unusual declines of a year ago, Fox News Channel was the only cable TV news network to gain viewers in the first quarter of 2022 versus a year ago.

Fox News was up 22% in total day viewers to 1.6 million viewings, per Nielsen, and 3% higher in prime-time viewing to 2.6 million viewers.

Fox remains the leading cable network overall in prime time, while MSNBC is in third place and CNN is lower but still a top-ten cable network.

This is a big turnaround for the network versus the first quarter of 2021, when it was behind CNN and MSNBC in total day viewers for the first time in years. During the first three months of 2021, viewing was driven by news and analysis of the January 6 insurrection, as well as more post-2020 Presidential election news.

The picture was different for MSNBC and CNN. In comparison to the major news surge of a year ago -- and despite the war in Ukraine -- both MSNBC and CNN have had difficulty keeping pace this year.

For MSNBC, prime-time viewing was down 46% to 1.2 million and falling 48% in total day viewing to 712,000. CNN declined a massive 56% in prime time to 857,000, while total day viewing sank 52% to 653,000.

Still on a quarter-to-quarter basis (fourth quarter-2021 versus first-quarter 2022), CNN has seen higher viewership -- up 33% in prime time and in total day viewing.

MSNBC made smaller gains -- rising 4% in prime time and 6% in total day viewing.

Fox also saw higher results versus the fourth quarter -- up 8% in prime time and 12% more in total day viewers.

3 comments about "Fox News Only News Net To Show YOY Growth, Leads In Prime".
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  1. Dane Claussen from Nonprofit Sector News, March 30, 2022 at 4:43 p.m.

    I'm unclear why you are still covering Fox News as if it is a legitimate news organization. Its own lawyers say in court that no reasonable person believes anything on Fox News, so it is incapable of libeling anyone. Fox News personnel advised the Trump White House, and the Trump White House surely did likewise. Much of its content is propaganda from Republican politicians and people who are even more extreme/fringe. Ethical, professional journalists should ignore, not cover, nonsense.

  2. Ben B from Retired replied, March 30, 2022 at 10:14 p.m.

    Wrong about Fox News which is legit a news org media websites that will report on cable news ratings. And if you want to play the propaganda game CNN & MSNBC does it as well with Dem politicians as well that doesn't fit your narrative. The media has a liberal bias I know you'll deny that there is a liberal bias in media Dane.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 31, 2022 at 9:57 a.m.

    Wayne, as has been true for many years, the reason why FNC tops MSNBC and CNN in average minute audience levels---but not so much, if at all in total reach---is because the typical Fox viewer consumes much more of its content per sitting than is true for the other news channels. The reason is simple. For many of FNC's ardent "conservative" followers it is telling them the "truth" and they agree with its opinions as well as being swayed by them---so they spend much more time with FNC content and much less---if any----with "lefty" sources such as CNN and especially MSNBC. They have been sold on the premise that the other two news channels are hopeleely biased against what they believe. And, to be fair, this is--- to some degree--- true. But not to the extent that FNC adhere's to the right.

    Nevertheless it is what it is---and FNC is the beneficiary of a very astute positioning strategy. MSNBC has tried to duplicate the FNC approach by tilting strongly to the left and this has given it an average minute edge over CNN which is stuck in a very lonely middle. When something of great importance happens everyone turns to CNN---and its ratings spike----but  briefly---only to return to also ran levels once viewers have found out quickly what's happening. How CNN will counter this by sticking mostly to "objective" news reporting remains a mystery. Probably its only hope for prime time is to find some truly powerful commentators who by virtue of their personalities and ability to capture and hold audiences turn the tables first on MSNBC and later---maybe---on FNC. At present no such personalities have appeared.

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