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April saw Fox News top the ratings charts in all of cable in both total day and prime time among total viewers, and while all three cable news networks were down compared to April 2020 – when overall viewership was up due to pandemic coverage – MSNBC saw the smallest decrease in audience size according to data from Nielsen.
MSNBC was second in all of cable for the month. CNN was third in total day in all of basic cable, and third among cable news networks, but dropped below HGTV and TBS to land in fifth place in basic cable among total day viewers.
In total day, Fox averaged the most total viewers, with 1.22 million, a drop of 45% from April 2020. MSNBC averaged 953,000 total viewers in total day, a drop of 25% from last year – the smallest drop of all the cable news networks in this segment. CNN was third, with 786,000, a drop of 42% from the year before.
In the valuable demographic of viewers age 25-54 in total day, Fox was down 52% from April 2020, for a total of 214,000 – still in first, but the biggest drop in younger viewers. CNN was second in the demo, with 205,000, down 48% from the year before. MSNBC was third in the demo, with 138,000, but saw the smallest drop-off from last year.
Fox dominated prime time in April, averaging 2.24 million total viewers, a drop of 39% from last year. MSNBC was second in total viewers, with 1.58 million, and was down a comparatively low 22% from last year. CNN was third in total viewers, with 1.03 million, and saw the biggest drop in total prime time viewers from April 2020, 47%.
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