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News Television

FOX News Sets Record for Election Night Viewership, Plus Weekly Cable News Ratings

Univision won the prime time total viewer battle of the Spanish-language networks over Telemundo from 8-11 p.m. ET, 1.95 million to 1.53 million.

Douglas Pucci

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Coverage of the 2020 U.S. elections on Tuesday, Nov. 3 were approximately down 20 percent down in total viewership from four years ago (-57 million on Nov. 3, 2020 vs. 71.4 million on Nov. 8, 2016). But cable news showed its prominence in the TV landscape, as for the first time ever, each of the three major cable news stations outdrew any broadcast network in prime time election coverage among total viewers. Fox News Channel set a new cable record for election coverage with a prime time average of 14.09 million viewers, beating the previous all-time mark of 13.3 million by CNN in 2016. This year, CNN averaged 9.41 million while MSNBC drew 7.63 million. Mimicking recent debate ratings performances, ABC led the broadcast networks. They averaged 6.29 million, followed by NBC (5.79 million), CBS (4.48 million) and the Fox broadcast network (3 million).

Univision won the prime time total viewer battle of the Spanish-language networks over Telemundo from 8-11 p.m. ET, 1.95 million to 1.53 million.

The still-unconfirmed results of the Biden-Trump presidential race continued to push the three cable news stations way above their usual averages. CNN had its second biggest total-day viewer average in its 40-year history with 4.53 million viewers on Wednesday, Nov. 4 from 3 a.m. to 2:59 a.m. ET (this figure is preliminary since it has yet to factor out-of-home viewing; CNN’s largest-ever day occurred on Election Day of Nov. 8, 2016). From 8-11 p.m. on Nov. 4, CNN (7.38 million) was the most-watched network (in addition to leading the key 25-54 and 18-34 demos) followed by the Fox News Channel (6.51 million). The Fox broadcast network, the usual Wednesday night winner thanks to “The Masked Singer” and “I Can See Your Voice”, remained potent as it averaged 5.49 million, although that ranked third; MSNBC (4.97 million) was a close fourth.

NFL still reigned supreme on Thursday, Nov. 5 as the Fox broadcast network (12.72 million viewers for Packers-49ers from 8-11 p.m. ET) ruled all, but then cable news took the next three ranking spots: CNN as runner-up (6.61 million), Fox News in third (5.72 million), MSNBC fourth (5.07 million).

In the morning, Fox News was still the dominant cable outlet. From 6-9 a.m. ET, “Fox & Friends” averaged 4.64 million viewers on Nov. 4 and 2.49 million on Nov. 5.

As for the other morning cable news offerings:

  • CNN “Election Night in America” (Nov. 4 @ 6-9 a.m. ET): 2.91 million viewers
  • CNN “Election Night in America” (Nov. 5 @ 6-9 a.m. ET): 2.16 million viewers
  • MSNBC “Morning Joe” (Nov. 4 @ 6-9 a.m. ET): 2.40 million viewers
  • MSNBC “Morning Joe” (Nov. 5 @ 6-9 a.m. ET): 1.92 million viewers

From last week, Fox News Channel was tops among the cable networks in both viewers and adults 25-54 yet again; it even showed slight growth in total audience a week after the final Biden-Trump presidential debate. For the week ending Nov. 1, 2020 in total day data (from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. each day), Fox News Channel averaged 2.44 million viewers and 463,000 adults 25-54.

As for the other news networks:

  • MSNBC: 1.39 million viewers, 224,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 1.25 million viewers, 314,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top MSNBC and CNN programs with associated ranks) in total viewers:

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 10/27/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 7.562 million viewers

2. Hannity (FOXNC, Mon. 10/26/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 7.304 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 10/26/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 6.765 million viewers

4. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 10/27/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 6.403 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/28/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 6.315 million viewers

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/29/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 6.129 million viewers

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 10/28/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.820 million viewers

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 10/29/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.376 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 10/30/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.310 million viewers

10. Hannity (FOXNC, Fri. 10/30/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 4.988 million viewers

24. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 10/28/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.823 million viewers

44. Cuomo Prime Time (CNN, Wed. 10/28/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.004 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top MSNBC and CNN programs with associated ranks) among adults 25-54:

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 10/27/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.540 million adults 25-54

2. Hannity (FOXNC, Mon. 10/26/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.403 million adults 25-54

3. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 10/27/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.290 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 10/26/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.276 million adults 25-54

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/28/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.245 million adults 25-54

6. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 10/28/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.212 million adults 25-54

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/29/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.101 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 10/29/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.978 million adults 25-54

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 10/30/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.975 million adults 25-54

10. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Wed. 10/28/2020 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.945 million adults 25-54

25. Cuomo Prime Time (CNN, Wed. 10/28/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.691 million adults 25-54

30. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 10/28/2020 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.652 million adults 25-54

News Television

CNN Asks Florida Judge to Toss Out Donald Trump’s Defamation Suit

Trump filed the lawsuit against CNN because he accuses the network of defaming his character during the 2020 Presidential Election.

Eduardo Razo

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Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against CNN in October; now, over a month later, the cable news channel is asking a judge in Florida to toss the case (h/t The Hill).

Trump filed the lawsuit against CNN because he accuses the network of defaming his character during the 2020 Presidential Election. Trump’s attorneys argued CNN “has sought to use its massive influence — purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source.”

Additionally, Trump’s lawyer says that CNN attempted “to defame the Plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically, culminating in CNN claiming credit for ‘[getting] Trump out’ in the 2020 presidential election.”

CNN lawyers have pushed back against Trump’s claims saying that the former president “seeks to silence any criticism of Plaintiff’s debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was ‘stolen.’”

“Any alleged association resulting therefrom are also ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ and ‘pure opinion’ under well-established principles of defamation law,” CNN’s lawyers added.

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News Television

Investor Cautions Over Possible Fox-News Corp. Merger

Irenic Capital, which owns about 2 percent of News Corp., has taken issue with its potential merger between Fox and News Corp.

Eduardo Razo

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Rumors have swirled over Fox and News Corp. possibly merging into one entity, but Irenic Capital, which owns about 2% of News Corp., has taken issue with its potential merger.

A merger would produce a more complicated company and turn off investors rather than increase the company’s lagging stock price, Irenic Capital stated in a letter to the News Corp. board.

“And even if such synergies do exist today, they would principally benefit Fox and reside in the News Media segment of News Corp,” Irenic Capital said (h/t Deadline). “For example, Fox Business may benefit from greater integration with The Wall Street Journal and some of Dow Jones’ other properties, but it is highly debatable whether the benefits from such an association flow both ways.

“Combining News Corp with Fox will result in a combined company that is obviously more complex than both companies left separate.” 

Irenic believes a unification would aid Fox far better than News Corp. and cautioned that the board has a fiduciary responsibility to investigate all possible routes to develop value beyond the one suggested by its primary shareholder.

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News Television

Fox News Lights All-American Christmas Tree

The event was hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino, Jessica Tarlov and Jesse Watters

Ryan Hedrick

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Fox News held its annual All-American Tree Lighting at FOX Square in New York, New York Monday during “The Five.” The event was hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino, Jessica Tarlov and Jesse Watters

In a release, the network said it partnered with the Police Athletic League (PAL) to host a toy drive benefiting New York City’s youth. The network also honored first responders by selecting representatives of the FDNY and NYPD to light this year’s tree.

Guests included FOX News personalities and their families along with first responders from the NYPD and FDNY, including members of NYPD Precinct 32, who lost Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera this year, and members of EMS Station 49, who lost EMS captain Alison Russo earlier this year.

FOX’s All-American Christmas tree stands at 50 feet tall and is adorned by 12,000 ornaments and 340,000 lights. The tree has 500 branches, a star topper that is over six feet tall and more than four miles of cord wrapped throughout.  Made in America, the tree features a patriotic theme of red, white, and blue decorations.

“After a busy year in America, it’s nice to, let’s just take a step back and celebrate traditions like this and remember how important it is to come together and focus on what truly matters,” said co-host Dana Perino. “This tree is not just for us to enjoy. We want you watching at home to be able to come here and make Christmas memories with your family and friends and of course, your pets, too, of course, as you can imagine.”

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