What happened to the rise of MSNBC? After showing historic growth--and a few months in 2017 when Rachel Maddow took the title of most-watched host in all of cable news, beating Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity--the just-released results of the May ratings period look very familiar: Fox News won--everything.
In ratings data released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research, FNC extended its run of consecutive months at number one to a staggering 197, while building hitting another impressive milestone: Fox News Channel has now beaten every other network in basic cable for 23 months straight, based on total day ratings, with an average total day audience in May of 1.4 million viewers.
In prime time, Fox News destroyed its competition, with an average total audience of 2.381 million viewers, compared to MSNBC's 1.384 million and CNN's 835,000. Among viewers 25-54, the group most coveted by advertisers, FNC shook off a challenge in recent months from MSNBC to claim a clear victory: 461,000 viewers, well ahead of MSNBC (329,000) and CNN (265,000).
Fox News had 10 of the top 15 shows in cable news, with Sean Hannity taking the title of highest-rated host in cable news. In fact, aside from ESPN and the NBA Playoffs on TNT, Hannity outpaced every other show in basic cable. Hannity had an average total audience of 3.261 million, followed by MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show (2.627 million), and FNC's Tucker Carlson Tonight (2.617 million), The Ingraham Angle(2.617 million) and The Five (2.153 million).