Fox News Channel has a lot to celebrate this holiday season.
Fox News will finish 2022 as the most-watched cable network in all of television for the seventh straight year, "The Five" made history as the first non-primetime program to ever lead cable news viewership for an entire year, and Laura Ingraham finished as the highest-rated female host.
Americans flocked to Fox News during a jam-packed year that saw Russia invade Ukraine, the death of Queen Elizabeth II, crucial midterm elections, widespread economic issues, the impact of the COVID pandemic, Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, the raid of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence and other major news stories.
"From America’s choice on election night to the home of late night’s smash hit show, 2022 was a testament to our unmatched skill in delivering the most innovative news and opinion programming to our audience which continues to rank as the most politically diverse in cable news. I am beyond proud of our entire team’s incredible achievements this year," FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said.
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Fox News averaged 1.5 million total day viewers, a 12% increase compared to 2021. Despite the news-heavy year, MSNBC averaged 733,000 viewers to shed 19% of its 2021 audience and CNN managed only 586,000 average viewers to lose 27% of last year’s viewership.
2022 marked the 21st consecutive year that Fox News finished as the most-watched cable news channel.
When it comes to the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54, Fox News also topped MSNBC and CNN combined. Fox News averaged 231,000 demo viewers compared to 123,000 for CNN and only 83,000 for MSNBC.
During the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. ET, Fox News averaged 2.3 million viewers compared to 1.2 million for MSNBC and a dismal 730,000 for CNN to top the liberal networks combined in that category as well. It was much of the same among the primetime demo, as Fox News averaged 346,000 viewers compared to 174,000 for CNN and 133,000 for MSNBC.
Fox News Channel finished with its third highest-rated year ever, while CNN and MSNBC each saw their lowest-rated years of all time among the demo. FNC programs made up 92 of the top 100 cable news shows during 2022.
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Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters and Jeanine Pirro’s "The Five" averaged 3.4 million viewers to finished as cable news’ most-popular program despite airing well before the primetime hours that traditionally dominate viewership. It was the first time a program that begins outside the coveted 8-11 p.m. ET primetime window has achieved the top spot.
"Tucker Carlson Tonight" averaged 3.3 million viewers to finish second, while "Jesse Watters Primetime" averaged 2.9 million to finish third. "Hannity" averaged 2.8 million to finish fourth and "Special Report with Bret Baier" averaged 2.5 million viewers to round out the top five.
"The Ingram Angle," "Gutfeld!," "Outnumbered" and "America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino" occupied spots six through nine as Fox News programs nearly swept the top ten.
The 10th spot went to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Alex Wagner, who have shared the liberal network’s 9 p.m. ET hour ever since the "Rachel Maddow Show" namesake decided earlier this year she would only work on Mondays, leaving Wagner to host the remaining four nights.
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"The Faulkner Focus," "Your World with Neil Cavuto," "America Reports with John Roberts and Sandra Smith" and "The Story with Martha MacCallum" all outdrew everything else MSNBC and CNN had to offer as Fox News aired 13 of the top 15 cable news programs of 2022.
The most-watched program on beleaguered CNN was "Anderson Cooper 360," which managed only 874,000 average nightly viewers to finish No. 23 among cable news offerings. CNN has struggled to find an identity since a long-planned merger put it under the control of the newly former Warner Bros. Discovery earlier this year. The network has since scrapped its much-hyped streaming service, laid off hundreds of employees and failed to find a permanent replacement for the 9 p.m. ET hour that was occupied by Chris Cuomo until he was fired last year.
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"Tucker Carlson Tonight" was the most-watched show among the key demographic, averaging 523,000 nightly age 25-54 viewers who are most coveted by advertisers. Fox News crushed CNN and MSNBC in the critical category, as 15 different FNC programs all topped anything else on cable news.
As CNN remains without a permanent host, "Hannity" dominated the 9 p.m. time slot, topping MSNBC’s "Alex Wagner Tonight" and CNN’s "CNN Tonight" combined among both total and demo viewers.
"FOX & Friends" continued to thump competition, finished as the most-watched cable news morning program for the 22nd straight year. "FOX & Friends First" also thrived, topping competition among both total viewers and the demo.
On Saturdays, "Unfiltered with Dan Bongino" finished with cable news’ largest audience across the board, while newly launched programs "One Nation with Brian Kilmeade" and "Lawrence Jones Cross Country" also won their time slots.
"Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo" was cable news’ most-watched weekend show and "FOX News Sunday with Shannon Bream" finished as the only public affairs program to grow its audience among the key demo.
All data courtesy of Nielsen Media Research.