Fox News Commands Top Billing in Second Quarter Cable Ratings Race

Fox News' 'Gutfeld!'
(Image credit: Fox News Channel )

The cable news networks continued to dominate the cable ratings race on a total day basis during the second quarter despite posting year-to-year declines, according to Nielsen. 

Fox News was the most watched network for the period of March 28 to June 27 with 1.1 million viewers to top all cable networks, although the news network was down 39% compared to second quarter 2020, reported Nielsen. MSNBC finished second with 847,000 viewers, down 30% from last year, followed by CNN’s 654,000 watchers, down 45% from 2020. 

All three networks tied for first place in total day ratings during the first quarter of 2021 with 1.3 million viewers. 

Also Read: Weekly Cable Ratings: TNT, ESPN Tie for Primetime Ratings Honors

In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.1 million viewers to give the news network its second straight quarterly win in the category for the year, according to Nielsen. TNT finished second with 1.5 million viewers, followed by MSNBC’s 1.4 million viewers, ESPN’s 1.3 million viewers and HGTV’s 1.2 million watchers.

CNN (914,000 viewers), TBS (909,000), History (821,000), Discovery Channel (805.000), and Hallmark Channel (800,000) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks in primetime.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.