Nearly 10% of Fox News Viewers Say They're Watching the Network Less Following the Dominion Lawsuit Disclosures
Maru Group survey also finds that 21% of Fox News viewers don't trust the channel as much as they used to
Damning disclosures by top-level Fox News executives and talent tied to Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation suit have had an appreciable impact on the channel's credibility and usage, at least according to a new survey conducted by Maru Group for Variety.
Surveying 338 U.S. adults who identify themselves as Fox News Channel viewers last week, Maru Group said that 21% of respondents now trust the network less, while 16% disclosed that they had a less favorable view of Fox News on-air hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.
Importantly, 9% of self-ID’d Fox News viewers said they’re now watching the network less than they used to.
Also read: Rupert Murdoch Concedes That Fox News Anchors 'Endorsed' Bogus Election Fraud Claims
We won’t go too deep into the disclosures, which have been amply reported on by the national media (opens in new tab) for several weeks. In summary, Dominion’s suit has included text messages and other evidence, which seem to plainly reveal that not only did Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham have serious doubts about former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” about the 2020 election being rigged, so did Fox Corp.’s highest-ranking leader, chair Rupert Murdoch.
Yet, Fox continued to report the story as though Trump had a serious, credible reason to challenge the election, all in an effort to sustain viewership.
Further collateral damage to Fox News’s image might have come last week, after Carlson was criticized by The White House — and even ranking members of the Republican Party (opens in new tab) — for editing footage of the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection in such a way as to make the event appear as though it were a mild DC tourist event.
It’s important to remember that surveys don't always gauge the on-the-ground reality of the market.
For Fox News, nothing seems to have changed in that regard.
Fox News remained the No. 1 cable channel in primetime for the week of March 6-12, drawing an average fo 2.2 million viewers.
Fox Corp. stock is down around 12% since the most serious lawsuit disclosures emerged in mid-February, but that depreciation is hardly disastrous — or even that notable — in today's volatile, diversified media marketplace. In fact, Fox’s stock price is roughly flat to where it was at the beginning of 2023.
Going back several years, the only real Wall Street volatility for Fox came right after the Jan. 6 Insurrection, as concern grew among investors that Fox News’ loyal viewers might defect to Newsmax and other upstart competitors, seeking a channel that took the Big Lie more seriously. ■
NEXT TV NEWSLETTER
The smarter way to stay on top of the streaming and OTT industry. Sign up below.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!