MSNBC Q3 Gains, Narrows Prime-Time Viewing Race With Fox News Channel

Fox News Channel continues to be challenged by MSNBC as top cable news network, according to Nielsen third-quarter 2023 results. 

Fox News Channel was down 20% to a Nielsen-measured 1.75 million prime-time viewers versus the same time period a year ago, while MSNBC grew 1% from the year before to 1.29 million in the third quarter.

CNN came in at a distant third place -- 596,000 -- also down by double-digit percentages (17%) versus the same period a year before.

Behind CNN are some up and comers: Newsmax (276,000) and Nexstar Media Group’s NewsNation (87,000). Among business channels running in prime time, CNBC led with 175,000 viewers, followed by Fox Business Network at 119,000.

Total day viewers show much of the same order in TV networks, with Fox News Channel at 1.1 million, MSNBC at 813,000, CNN with 471,000), Newsmax at 169,000 and NewsNation with 55,000).



The top performer in total day viewing -- MSNBC -- was 4% higher. The networks that dropped the most were Fox News -- down a massive 22% -- and CNN, down by 16%.

The most-watched individual cable TV prime-time news show was MSNBC's “The Rachel Maddow Show” with 2.6 million viewers, leading for the second straight quarter. “Maddow” came in at 2.5 million viewers in the third quarter of 2022.

According to TVnewser, Nielsen MRI Fusion showed that on Monday nights more politically focused viewers who identify themselves as ‘independents’ tuned more into MSNBC than Fox News Channel or CNN.

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