Fox News Channel dominates March, sweeping CNN and MSNBC across key ratings measurables

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Fox News Channel finished March as the most-watched cable news network, sweeping both CNN and MSNBC among total day, primetime total viewers and the key 25-to-54 demographic. 

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3.2 million viewers during March to finish as the No. 1 cable news program. MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” joined “Tucker” and other FNC programs “Hannity,” “The Five” and “The Ingraham Angle” among the top five.

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CNN’s most-watched program was “Cuomo Prime Time,” which finished No. 14 behind six different Fox News shows and seven shows on rival liberal network MSNBC.

FNC averaged 2.5 million primetime viewers during the first quarter, while MSNBC averaged 2.2 million and no other networks cracked the two-million viewer plateau.

Fox News averaged 1.3 million total day viewers in March, compared to one million for MSNBC and 812,000 for CNN. During the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. ET, Fox News averaged 2.4 million compared to MSNBC’s 1.8 million and CNN’s 1.2 million.

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The overwhelming primetime success vaulted Fox News to the top spot among primetime during the first quarter of 2021 among all of basic cable. FNC averaged 2.5 million primetime viewers during the first quarter, while MSNBC averaged 2.2 million and no other networks cracked the two-million viewer plateau. CNN, ESPN and HGTV joined Fox News and MSNBC among the top five.

Fox News has now been the No. 1 cable news channel among total viewers for 77 straight quarters and first among all of basic cable for five consecutive quarters,

“Cuomo Prime Time” was CNN’s most-watched show during March despite namesake host Chris Cuomo being caught up in a series of scandals involving his big brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The CNN host reportedly was given prioritized access to coronavirus testing early in the pandemic when it wasn’t available to most New Yorkers and the liberal network has since banned him from covering his brother’s political crises.

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CNN finished March with its lowest-rated month among total viewers since pre-pandemic February 2020 as the network struggles for an identity with former President Donald Trump out of office.

Fox News is the most-watched cable news network since President Biden took office among both total day and primetime viewers.

All data courtesy of Nielsen Media Research.

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