There is an entire cottage industry within media dedicated to disseminating Tucker Carlson’s nightly Fox News musings to presumably liberal audiences who may not be tuning in to hear what the leading conservative voice is telling his large following. But recent data from Nielsen MRI Fusion suggests those nightly dispatches may not be necessary: In October, the most recent month for which data is available, Carlson’s 9 p.m. The ET program was the most popular cable news program among Democrats between the coveted 25-54 age group.
Nielsen MRI Fusion data revealed that Fox News received the largest audience of self-proclaimed Republicans in October with 69% tuning in to total-day programming and 73% tuning in to primetime programming. MSNBC and CNN split the conservatives remaining with totals in low double-digit percents. Fox News also commanded the largest number of independents in the key news demo during primetime and total-day hours: 55% of those 25-54 watched the network in primetime, compared to CNN’s 23% and MSNBC’s 22%. In total-day hours, 58% watched Fox News while 18% chose MSNBC, and 25% chose CNN.
More surprising are the stats about Carlson and Fox News’ pull with self-proclaimed Democrats. 39% of the demo-aged viewers who identified themselves as Democrats chose Fox News, 31% chose MSNBC, and 30% chose CNN to broadcast programming starting at 8 p.m. ET from 11 p.m. ET. ET.
Carlson was the most popular among Democrats in the demo in all of cable news this month. He also ranked third in total viewers among Dems. Fox News had three programs that ranked among the top four in total viewers among Democrats. “The Five,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight” “Hannity.” The top spot in total viewers went to MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
These numbers only account for October but reveal that Fox News’ and Carlson’s sizable audiences are not that easy to define. Consider Carlson’s ratings that month. In October, Carlson’s show was the top-rated program in the demo across all of cable news and was the second highest-rated show overall, coming in only behind Fox News’ late-afternoon panel show “The Five.”He amounted to 3.081 million viewers on average and 483,000 viewers in the demo. The entire 2021 year was recorded. “Tucker Carlson Tonight”The highest-rated cable news program overall was the one that attracted an average audience of 3.214 millions viewers and 535,000 viewers in the demo.
Earlier Tuesday, Nielsen released January’s ratings, which also provided a big win to Fox News. Fox News reached the landmark of being the highest-rated cable news channel for twenty years.
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