Capitol attack: Fox ratings below MSNBC, CNN for 1st time since 2000

  • Fox News got lower TV ratings than both CNN and MSNBC at the same time for the first time since 2000 in the past week.
  • All three networks saw their viewership soar as pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol, but the CNN and MSNBC bumps far outpaced the one at Fox.
  • Wednesday, the day of the siege, was the most-watched day in CNN history, while the week was MSNBC’s highest-rated ever.
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CNN and MSNBC scored both higher ratings than Fox News at the same time for the first time since 2000 as their viewership boomed during last week’s storming of the US Capitol.

Data firm Nielsen said that MSNBC and CNN both beating Fox News in the ratings last week was the first time that had happened since September 24, 2000, according to Mediaite.

The networks saw viewership soar as Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, and that gap grew during their coverage of the event in the following days.

US capitol

Trump supporters near the US Capitol, on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images


According to the Daily Beast, this is what the viewership figures looked like:

  • On Wednesday, CNN averaged 5.941 million total viewers, while MSNBC averaged 4.543 million and Fox News averaged 3.464 million.
  • On Thursday, CNN averaged 3.854 million total viewers, MSNBC averaged 3.321 million, and Fox averaged 1.935 million.
  • On Friday, CNN had 3.121 million total viewers, MSNBC had 2.816 million and Fox News had 1.702 million.

The three networks were the most-watched in the US for that period.

CNN and MSNBC also led Fox News in key demographics.

CNN and MSNBC’s success wasn’t the result of a collapse in Fox News viewership: All three networks saw an increase in viewership compared to their average day.

Wednesday, the day of the siege, was also the most-watched day in CNN’s history amd MSNBC’s highest-rated week ever.

According to Bloomberg, Fox said that its coverage on Wednesday afternoon had its highest ratings since the Senate hearings to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in September 2018.

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Fox News has long dominated cable news ratings, and it 2020 it set an all-time record for viewership in a year. But its ratings have declined since the November presidential election. The network has experienced similar dips after previous presidential elections.

Trump has also picked battled with the network that was once one of his closet allies, urging his followers to turn to alternatives like One America News and Newsmax.



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