Fox News Tops January Ratings, Sees Slight Primetime Viewership Bump Along With MSNBC As 2024 Election Season Gets Underway

Fox News and MSNBC saw slight viewership increases in primetime in the month of January as the 2024 primary season got underway, although the whole contest may be short-lived given Donald Trump’s sweep of Iowa and New Hampshire and Joe Biden’s nominal opposition.

Fox News topped the month with an average of 1.98 million viewers in seven-night primetime, a 2% increase from the same month a year ago, while MSNBC averaged 1.09 million, up 4%, and CNN posted 605,000, down 4%.

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In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 219,000, down 8%, compared to CNN with 124,000, down 14%, and MSNBC with 106,000, off by 3%.

In total day, Fox News averaged 1.25 million, down 7%, compared to MSNBC with 761,000, up 8%, and CNN with 463,000, down 12%. In the total-day demo, Fox News averaged 149,000, down 14%, compared to CNN with 86,000, down 20% and MSNBC with 77,000, down 1%.

Overall, cable news networks’ coverage of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary was down versus 2020, perhaps because of an aura of inevitability that this year will see a Trump vs. Biden rematch. The Iowa caucuses were called for Trump about a half hour after they began, and the New Hampshire primary was called shortly after all polls closed.

Other notes: Fox News’ Jesse Watters Primetime had its best month since its move last year to 8 p.m. ET, the former timeslot occupied by Tucker Carlson. Fox News said it also passed 22 years as the top network in total day and primetime.

The most watched daily show was Fox News’ The Five, averaging 2.95 million viewers, followed by Jesse Watters Primetime with 2.83 million, Hannity with 2.50 million, The Ingraham Angle with 2.20 million and Special Report with 2.2 million.

In the 25-54 demo, Jesse Watters Primetime averaged 299,000, followed by Gutfeld! with 283,000, Hannity with 276,000, The Five with 257,000 and The Ingraham Angle with 223,000.

MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, which airs on Mondays, averaged 2.2 million. It topped its time slot on the Monday in which she served as host during the month.

Primary coverage also gave a bounce to NewsNation, which said that it had its highest-rated primetime week (M-F) except for its December debate coverage. NewsNation averaged 120,000 viewers and 24,000 in the 25-54 demo.

The numbers are from Nielsen via Fox News, MSNBC and NewsNation.

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