The Fox News Channel crashed in ratings on Saturday, coming in a distant third place to leader CNN and second place MSNBC. In the week before Tuesday’s election Fox News averaged more than double the viewership of CNN and MSNBC.
Fox viewers have been in revolt since election night when the cable network called states early for Joe Biden while holding off calling states for President Trump.
USA Today reported on Saturday’s ratings:
CNN was the first network to project Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election early Saturday and reaped the top Nielsen ratings for the fifth and final day of the election coverage.
CNN beat the TV competition in total viewers Saturday with 4.2 million (as well as leading for adults 25-54 and younger viewers 18-34), according to Nielsen. MSNBC was second with 3 million, Fox News Channel third with 1.73 million.
The cable news network projected Biden as the winner over President Donald Trump at 11:24 EST Saturday and continued to hold the top ratings spots in all categories as President-elect Biden and and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris addressed the nation for the first time Saturday night.
…More than 13.6 million viewers watched Biden and Harris’ prime time address on CNN, with MSNBC coming in second place with 8.52 million, according to Nielsen.
(Note: USA Today did not report Fox’s third place numbers for Saturday night, however the NY Times’ Michael Grynbaum reported Fox only had three million viewers.)
The AP reported last Tuesday that Fox News prime time hosts scored record ratings the week before the election and that overall Fox dominated CNN and MSNBC by more than double in viewership:
Two of Fox News Channel’s three prime-time opinion hosts — Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham — reached their biggest weekly audiences ever during the week leading up to Election Day.
The third host, Sean Hannity, had his second-best week, with only his coverage of the 2020 Republican national convention topping it, the Nielsen company said.
…Fox News averaged 5.03 million viewers for the week, easily topping the cable networks. MSNBC had 2.36 million, ESPN had 2.15 million, CNN had 1.95 million and Hallmark had 1.56 million.
USA Today reported Fox crushed the competition on election night:
The presidential race did not have a declared winner, but Fox News Channel easily took the TV ratings crown as all three major cable news networks attracted more viewers than the broadcast networks, according to final Nielsen ratings data for election night, when 56.9 million watched prime-time coverage on 21 networks.
That figure was down 20% from the 71.4 million who watched prime-time results in 2016, Nielsen says.
Fox’s election night coverage, anchored by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, won 14.1 million viewers during prime time Tuesday (8-11 p.m. EST), far ahead of second-place CNN (9.4 million) and MSNBC (7.6 million).
…Fox News said its performance marked the most-watched election night in cable news history.