CNN and MSNBC Trounce Fox News in Friday Ratings, Both in Total Viewers and Key Demo

MSNBC and CNN beat Fox in viewership across all key metrics Friday, by pretty big margins, marking the first time Fox has lost to both competitors in more than 20 years, according to Nielsen. The end of the week also marked MSNBC’s highest-rated week ever.

As with CNN, which scored its best ratings ever on Jan. 6, it would seem that coverage of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol helped boost MSNBC’s numbers to the highest they’ve ever been: the network averaged 3.1 million viewers for the week. The last time both CNN and MSNBC beat Fox News was on September 24, 2000, per Nielsen.

On Friday, CNN held the lead in prime time, averaging 4.36 million total viewers, and 1.31 million in the key demographic of viewers age 25-54. MSNBC wasn’t far behind, with 4.32 million total viewers and 838,000 in the demo. Fox had the third most viewers in prime time, with 2.98 million total viewers and 513,000 in the demo.

The three most-watched shows on cable news were all in prime time. The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC was the most-watched show of the day, with 5.15 million total viewers, 1.03 million in the demo. Anderson Cooper 360 had the second-most viewers, with 4.86 million, and 1.44 million in the demo – the most younger viewers of any show Friday. The third most-watched show was also on CNN: Cuomo Prime Time had 4.32 million total viewers, and 1.24 million in the demo. Notably, CNN’s own Erin Burnett OutFront had slightly more demo viewers than Cuomo – almost 1.3 million – but had slightly fewer viewers total, 4.22 million.

MSNBC continued to win the early mornings in total viewers, with 2.08 million total (352,000 in the demo) tuning in to Morning Joe. CNN’s New Day, which has consistently ranked third in early-morning viewership, had the second-most total viewers, 1.37 million, and won the demo, with 385,000 younger viewers. Fox and Friends had 1.08 million total viewers and 215,000 in the demo.

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