Fox News Channel Back on Top in Prime-Time Ratings

June 19, 2017

Fox News Channel recently experienced a significant slip in cable-news ratings, but the network is now back on top after drubbing its competitors last week.

Fox News beat cable networks CNN and MSNBC in most time slots and the key 25-54 age demographic from Monday through Thursday, according to the latest day ratings provided by TV Newser, which were flagged by The Blaze.

The only exception was Attorney General Jeff Sessions' appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, when he testified on potential ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, among other issues.

Even during Sessions' testimony, however, Fox News won in total viewers, garnering 3.3 million viewers in the 4 p.m. time slot—1.1 million more than CNN, the next closest competitor.

On Tuesday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow won the 25-54 demographic during the 9 p.m. slot, earning 743,000 viewers, with just over three million total viewers. But Fox News' Tucker Carlson won both the 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. hours—the latter when his show airs a second time—while Sean Hannity garnered the most viewers in the key demographic during the 10 p.m. slot.

The ratings from Sessions' time on Capitol Hill appear to signal a broader trend in which CNN and MSNBC, which critics view as left-leaning networks, experience ratings hikes when damaging stories on President Donald Trump dominate the headlines. But when news that is unfavorable to liberal audiences is more relevant, Fox News dominates the ratings.

CNN and MSNBC saw a big boost in ratings with their coverage of former FBI Director James Comey's congressional testimony on June 8, with the latter beating out Fox News in the 25-54 demographic. Comey discussed allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and his provate conversations with the president.

Maddow was perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the ratings hikes due to multiple negative news stories about the Trump administration, according to ratings provided by TV Newser. Maddow trounced her competitors during the 9 p.m. time slot in the 25-54 demographic on June 7 and 8, garnering 745,000 viewers and 979,000 viewers, respectively.

When Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was fired back in April amid a flurry of sexual harassment allegations, ratings plummeted after a reorganization of the evening lineup. Last month, for example, MSNBC beat out its cable news rivals, including Fox News, during primetime in the 25-54 demographic and in total viewership for the first time in the network's 21-year existence.

Still, Fox News has remained on top in total viewership by a wide margin despite the lower ratings in the key demographic.

By Wednesday, the network was back in first place in every prime-time slot.