Fox News Takes April Cable Ratings Crown

Fox News was the big cable ratings winner in April, setting a network monthly primetime ratings record while leading a dominant performance by the three major cable news networks, according to Nielsen.

Fox News averaged a network record 3.6 million viewers in primetime for the period of March 30 to April 26, easily topping MSNBC’s 2 million viewers for the month, according to Nielsen. CNN finished third in primetime with 1.9 million viewers, giving the  major cable news networks the top three slots in primetime for two months in a row amid their continuing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

HGTV and TLC finished tied for fourth place with 1.2 million viewers, followed by ESPN, History and TBS (tied with 1 million viewers). Hallmark Channel (985,000 viewers) and A&E Network (939,000) rounded out the top 10 most watched cable networks in primetime for April.

The three cable news networks also finished atop the total day ratings chart for April, led by Fox News’s 2.2 million viewers. CNN, MSNBC, HGTV, Food Network and Hallmark Channel all finished in the top five within the category, said Nielsen. 

R. Thomas Umstead

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.