It is no longer a surprise to hear that Fox News has, once again, bested its cable news rivals in terms of viewership, as the question now has become about just how dominant Fox is and how badly it has beaten the rival networks of CNN and MSNBC.
The latest cable news viewership ratings for the week of Feb. 7-13 showed that Fox News continued to sit atop all of basic cable TV while both MSNBC and CNN struggled to attract viewers.
In fact, CNN experienced some of the lowest ratings it has seen in decades this past week as the network is embroiled in scandal and turnover of “talent” — fired host Chris Cuomo — and leadership — the sudden resignation of CEO Jeff Zucker.
This is what domination looks like
According to TV Newser, the most recent Neilsen ratings placed Fox News and USA Network at the top of the stack for the latest week, with Fox averaging the largest total audience for both primetime and total day viewers while USA, undoubtedly due to its nonstop Olympics coverage, drew the highest average number of viewers in primetime and total day among the key demographic of adults age 25-54.
Fox News had an average of 2.38 million primetime viewers, including 367,000 in the key demo, and averaged 1.5 million total day viewers, including 237,000 in the advertiser-targeted demographic.
In comparison, MSNBC averaged just over 1 million primetime viewers and 621,000 in total day, with only about 114,000 and 67,000 in adult viewers for those respective categories. For CNN, the numbers were even worse, as that network averaged only 491,000 primetime viewers and 444,000 total day viewers. Among the key demographic, the average numbers were 122,000 for primetime and a meager 92,000 for total day viewership.
In other words, Fox News has — once again, for the 26th consecutive week — averaged more total viewers in all of the relevant categories than both CNN and MSNBC combined.
Also worthy of note — TV Newser pointed out that all five of the top five cable news programs were Fox shows, and the network bragged that it was the home of 81 of the top 100 telecasts in all of cable TV over the past week.
Fox declared the winner of the “cable news wars”
Forbes recently took a look at the perpetual “cable news wars” and declared Fox News to essentially be the victor, given its lengthy and continuous perch atop the ratings heap and unmistakable dominance of its rivals that only seems to be growing.
Looking forward through 2022 and beyond, the outlet predicted that Fox would likely continue to do what it has been doing in light of its great success.
For MSNBC, there are a few changes on the horizon, most notably an expansion of its relatively successful “Morning Joe” routine but also possibly a need to replace its top star, Rachel Maddow, who is currently on hiatus and has hinted at potentially stepping back or moving on altogether from her show at some point later this year.
And then there is CNN, which will likely see substantial changes over the coming year in large part due to it being part of the planned merger between parent company TimeWarner and the Discovery network — a move that could prove beneficial as the network shifts back toward straightforward journalism instead of the biased opinion it has trafficked in recent years.