Fox News Channel dominated Election Night coverage on Tuesday, outdrawing MSNBC and CNN combined during every hour of coverage for Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial battles along with the New York City mayoral race.
Fox News averaged 4.6 million viewers during the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. ET, compared to 1.4 million for MSNBC and only a smidge over 1 million for CNN.
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Fox News didn’t only prevail during primetime, drawing the largest audience in cable news every hour of the day from 7 p.m. ET until 3 a.m. ET. People who chose liberal networks must have called it a night early when things weren’t looking good for Democrats, as Fox News averaged 2.3 million viewers from midnight until 2 a.m. ET while MSNBC averaged only 660,000 during that time and CNN managed only 583,000 viewers.
The 11 pm. and 12 a.m. ET hours of coverage resulted in the network’s largest audience of 2021 during those time.
MSNBC’s widely mocked coverage managed to pick up some extra viewers during the night when conservatives tuned in to witness Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid and Nicolle Wallace’s reaction to Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s victory over Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
“MSNBC is currently going through the 7 stages of grief on an endless loop in real time,” radio host Buck Sexton tweeted. “It’s great, highly recommend.”
FNC also dominated the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54, averaging 926,000 demo viewers compared to 335,000 for CNN and only 262,000 for MSNBC.
Fox News peaked during the 10 p.m. ET hour when “The Ingraham Angle” averaged 4.7 million viewers and 936,000 people among the key demo. It was Fox News’ highest-rated “odd year” election night in network history.
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Fox News Channel’s “The Five” recently finished October as the most-watched show in cable news to help the network outdraw MSNBC and CNN combined in critical ratings categories. Fox News, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in October, averaged 1.4 million viewers to finish No. 1 in all of basic cable while none of the other networks managed to crack the one-million viewer barrier. ESPN finished second with 892,000 and MSNBC finished third with 680,000 average viewers. CNN settled for only 487,000 average viewers and failed to crack the top five.
As a result, Fox News finished the busy news month with a 55% share of cable news total viewership, compared to 26% for MSNBC and only 19% for CNN.
On Election Night, Fox News saw its share rise to 65% during primetime.
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All data courtesy of Nielsen Media Research.