Fox News Dominates Both Cable and Broadcast Competitors in Midterm Coverage


While voters made their voice heard during Tuesday’s midterms, the American public made it clear that it preferred Fox News over other major outlets covering the election.

Fox News dominated both of its cable news competitors (CNN, MSNBC) and broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) in total viewers from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET.  According to Nielsen data, it received an average of 7,784,358 total viewers — the highest-rated midterm coverage in cable news history.

Fox News

But while Fox News won in total viewers, the network fell behind CNN (2,391,778 viewers vs. 2,543,159 viewers) in the key 25-54 age demographic. In that particular demographic, CNN was the most viewed among cable and broadcast networks.

MSNBC fell behind both in terms of total viewers (4,749,433) and the 25-54 demographic (1,354,074 viewers).

The three broadcast networks each gathered more than 2 million fewer viewers than Fox. NBC led the pack with 5,690,000 total viewers, while ABC (5,264,000) trailed close behind, and CBS (3,897,000) lost to every other major network.

Tuesday’s contentious elections, seen as a referendum on the president, brought Fox News Digital its highest number of page views (125.6 million) for the year. Data from Socialbakers also revealed that Fox News scored 45 percent more social media engagement (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) than MSNBC and CNN combined.

The news came as Nielsen data revealed that MSNBC programs fell below their previous top-five rankings in cable news.

MSNBC/Peter Kramer

MSNBC’s midterm programming, “The Vote: America’s Future,” gathered more total viewers and more viewers in the 25-54 demographic than any of its previous midterm election coverage during the 8-11 p.m. ET timeslot.

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For the first time ever, I watched news coverage on CNN. Only because I couldn’t find Fox live stream on my mobile that didn’t include Tomi Lahren.

I guess i had expected it to be outrageously partisan – i didn’t really see that. The conservative voices actually could complete a thought and there were pretty even conservative to progress view points on the panel.

Fox is really the ONLY news source that leans right – they will always have more viewers. Before I dropped cable even I watched Fox

Rocky Drummond

Progressives? Who did CNN have on that represented real progressives? Like all corporate media, they can’t stand real progressives, so I would be surprised if they had any on at all. The numbers show that NBC is actually worse than FOX Nooz, in this particular regard only.


I expected to get burned for posting that CNN did well providing conservative view points in discussions- i did not see it coming that I’d get called out for CNN not being left enough.

I probably used the term progressive incorrectly – so sorry about that. I meant just left leaning and right leaning view points were both represented pretty equally and allowed to speak equally.

I would argue far right and far left view points should not be on any news channel claiming to be objective.

Rocky Drummond

Logically, there are more diverse political opinions than just left or right leaning. I understand there to be 7. The majority of the US populace believe in and support the main progressive ideas and policies, but most media outlets, by edict, have no interest at all in representing them on their programs, or if they ever do discuss a progressive idea, they will clearly attack, denigrate or misrepresent those policies in ways they never use against Rs or Ds (example: Chris Cuomo).

Phyllis Softa

I have no idea what your idea of “real progressives” would be. I am a moderate Dem that watches CNN. Nina Turner–the former Ohio state legislator that wanted to be Bernie Sanders VP candidate, is as far left as Bernie. Nina was on the CNN election results panel. Jennifer Granholm, the former Michigan AG and Gov, a more mainstream Progressive was also on the panel? Bernie and Nina are fixtures on CNN. Granholm is frequently on the Sunday CNN shows. What exactly are you looking for?

Rocky Drummond

Exactly that. I was watching independent media coverage, so thank you.

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