Fox News emerged as the top-rated cable news network last month in primetime, despite gains by rivals MSNBC and CNN.
According to new Nielsen Media Research Center ratings, Fox News remained the top-rated network between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., but slipped slightly compared to April while its competitors’ ratings grew.
Though the ratings were significantly higher than May 2016, Fox News dipped slightly in primetime, averaging 2,244,000 viewers in May compared to 2,441,000 in April, including 453,000 viewers in advertisers’ coveted demographic of 25-54 year-olds, compared to 488,000 last month.
The network also topped its rivals in total daytime viewers with 1,400,000 average viewers, and host Tucker Carlson’s 8 p.m. show had the largest number of total viewers on cable news.
The right-leaning anchor averaged 2,670,000 total viewers last month, including 525,000 total viewers in the 25-54 age demographic.
MSNBC also experienced a notable ratings boost, averaging 925,0000 total daytime viewers, a 93% jump compared to last month.
The left-leaning network averaged 1,689,000 total viewers during primetime, 417,000 of which were between ages 25 and 54, compared to 1,564,000 total viewers last month in primetime, including 359,000 between 25 and 54. The network also topped Fox and CNN on weeknight ratings for the first time in almost two decades.
Host Rachel Maddow continued her surge, winning the 9 p.m. hour for the first time in the network’s history. The left-leaning host’s 9 p.m. show averaging 2.6 million viewers total viewers last month, including 637,000 total viewers in the 25-54 age demographic, higher than any other program in cable news.
CNN also delivered a strong month, averaging 821,000 total viewers, a 41% boost from last month. The network averaged 1,120,000 viewers in primetime compared to 998,000 last month, and garnered 399,000 in advertisers’ coveted demographic.
The ratings capped a tumultuous month in cable news after former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly departed the network amid sexual harassment allegations that resulted in a shakeup at Fox.
Earlier this month, Fox News fell into third place for one week among 25-54 year-olds during primetime for the first time in 17 years.
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