Fox News Channel wins the ratings race again

Fox News host Sean Hannity helped his network to another ratings win.
(Fox News)

Fox News Channel had six of last week’s 11 highest-rated prime-time programs to finish first in the network ratings race for the third time since June.

Three editions each of the political talk shows “Hannity” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” made the top 11, led by the Aug. 11 edition of “Hannity,” which averaged 4.585 million viewers, fifth among prime-time cable and broadcast programs airing between Aug. 10 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

Fox News Channel averaged 3.289 million viewers for its prime-time programming for the week, 39% more than its 2.362 million average the corresponding week one year ago.


CBS finished second after five consecutive first-place finishes, averaging 3.19 million viewers. The week’s ratings winner was an edition of CBS’ “60 Minutes” with three previously broadcast segments that were updated; it averaged 6.998 million viewers.

This was the fourth time “60 Minutes” has had the biggest audience during the 12 weeks of television’s 2020 summer season. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” finished first in the other eight weeks.

NBC was in third place for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 2.82 million. ABC was fourth for the fifth consecutive week, averaging 2.36 million viewers. Its biggest audience was for a rerun of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” which averaged 4.454 million viewers, seventh for the week.

Fox News Channel, CBS, NBC and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.

Fox was fourth among the broadcast networks and sixth overall, averaging 1.46 million viewers for its 15 hours, 58 minutes of prime-time programming. Its top-rated show was “WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown” professional wrestling card, which averaged 1.94 million viewers, 46th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

With less first-run programming because of the coronavirus pandemic and more viewing of streaming programming, viewership of each of the four major networks was down from the comparable week one year ago. That 2019 period included Fox’s coverage of an NFL preseason game between the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks that averaged 5.302 million viewers, fourth for the week.

Viewership for Fox was down 39% from its 2.39 million average a year ago; NBC was down 22% from its 3.61 million average; ABC was down 19% from its 2.9 million average; and CBS was down 7% from its 3.43 million average. The overall four-network average was down 19%.


The week’s only other prime-time programs to average more than 5 million viewers were the Aug. 11 and Aug. 12 “America’s Got Talent” episodes, which averaged 6.752 million and 6.152 million viewers, respectively.

Fox News Channel topped cable network ratings for the 30th consecutive week, averaging 3.289 million viewers.

MSNBC was second among cable networks for the 10th consecutive week, averaging 2.035 million viewers. HGTV was third, averaging 1.402 million. CNN averaged 1.336 million to finish fourth after eight consecutive third-place finishes.