Skip to main content

Viewership Crossover Deep Dive: The Fox News Bernie Sanders Town Hall

On March 9, Fox News hosted a town hall with presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders. We were curious if viewers who skew toward other news outlets would tune into Fox News to see the Vermont senator in action. To find out, we examined viewership crossover for the Fox News special and Super Tuesday news coverage across the major broadcast and cable news networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC) using data from Inscape.tv, the TV data company with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 13 million smart TVs.

Below, a look at crossover for the Fox News town hall and six Super Tuesday news broadcasts. (A note about methodology: You have to do more than just flip past a station with your remote to count as a “crossover viewer” in Inscape’s system. For the data below, the minimum viewing threshold is 10 minutes.)

Unsurprisingly, the highest rate of crossover from the Sanders town hall was with Fox News’ coverage of Super Tuesday: 65% of the town hall viewers had also watched Fox News on Super Tuesday, and 18% of viewers of Fox News’ Super Tuesday broadcast watched the town hall. The highest crossover of viewers of non-Fox News Super Tuesday coverage and the town hall: a mere 1.4% of the viewers of CNN’s America’s Choice 2020: Super Tuesday watched the Sanders town hall.

Inscape also provided a real-time look at TV viewership as the town hall kicked off, and it’s worth noting that, at 6:36 p.m. E.T., nightly news broadcasts from ABC, NBC and CBS all trended above the Fox News town hall.

Looking specifically at tune-in locations for the Fox News town hall and Super Tuesday coverage, there were a few differences — most notably that the Alpena, MI DMA led for the town hall. This makes sense since the town hall was hosted in Dearborn, MI, and it took place on the eve of the state’s Democratic presidential primary, giving viewers a reason to watch before heading to the polls the next day.

Topping the list for DMA locations of households that tuned in for the Sanders town hall: Alpena, MI; Panama City, FL; Ft. Myers-Naples, FL; Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC; and Wilmington, NC.

Top DMAs for Fox News’ Super Tuesday coverage included Panama City, FL; Ft. Myers-Naples, FL; Tyler-Longview, TX; Dothan, AL; and Huntsville-Decatur, AL.