Fox News Host Sean Hannity speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) … [+]
Fox News Channel rode a wave of viewership across cable news to a dominant first-place finish in the May ratings period, ending the key month with an average total audience in prime time of 3.441 million viewers, well ahead of second-place MSNBC, which drew a total audience of 1.923 million viewers.
With a global pandemic impacting cities across the U.S., viewership was up significantly from the same period a year ago, with Fox News’ prime time ratings up 44% year-over-year. CNN, which finished in third place overall with an average audience of 1.652 million viewers, had the largest gains—with prime ratings up a staggering 117% according to ratings data compiled by Nielsen.
The five most-watched show in cable news in May were Hannity, in first place overall with a total audience of 4.231 million viewers, followed by Tucker Carlson Tonight (4.192 million viewers), The Five (3.734 million viewers), The Ingraham Angle (3.485 million viewers) and Special Report with Bret Baier (3.085 million viewers), all on Fox News.
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 11: Chris Cuomo attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC … [+]
Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald
Among viewers 25-34, the demographic group most coveted by national advertisers, CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time finished in the top five, taking fifth place overall with an average audience of 500,000. The top four were all Fox News shows: Tucker Carlson Tonight (700,000 viewers), Hannity (672,000 viewers), The Five (578,000 viewers), and The Ingraham Angle (578,000 viewers).
In the key demo, CNN’s prime time ratings grew 151% compared to May 2019, compared to far more modest—but still significant gains—from MSNBC (up 21%) and Fox News Channel (up 48%).