Fox News takes third place in cable news rankings with riots and election coverage

A Fox News panel is seen in the News Corporation building in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York, New York, United States, on June 15, 2018. REUTERS / Eduardo Munoz / File Photo

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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 12 (Reuters) – Fox News Channel, which ended 2020 as the most watched network in all of basic cable, finished third on cable news channels last week as Power took changed to the US Senate and rioters stormed the US Capitol, Nielsen data was released on Tuesday.

AT&T Inc’s (TN) CNN dominated cable networks with about 2.8 million viewers per day from Jan. 4 through Sunday, and 4.2 million during prime time, according to audience data.

For the same period, Comcast Corp’s (CMCSA.O) MSNBC attracted 2.3 million per day and 3.8 million during prime time. Fox News, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp (FOXA.O), drew around 1.7 million per day and 3.2 million in prime time.

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Newsmax, a smaller rival who was promoted by President Trump, said it had a prime-time audience record of 443,000 for the week. Its total daily ratings averaged 294,000. Newsmax does not provide full-time media coverage on weekends.

During the week, networks covered elections in Georgia that gave Democrats control of the US Senate and the storming of Capitol Hill by supporters of the president.

Fox News ended 2020 with record ratings that made it the most watched network on basic cable for the fifth consecutive year L1N2IX2YH.

After the Nov. 3 election, Trump stepped up his criticism of Fox News and urged his supporters to look at alternatives such as Newsmax and One America News Network, which is not rated by Nielsen.

CNN has passed Fox in some ways since the election, but Fox’s opinion leaders continued to dominate prime time. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” attracted an average of 4 million viewers while “Hannity” attracted 3.7 million.

On Monday, Fox announced it would add another hour of opinion programming at 7 p.m., among other changes.

CNN also announced changes to its schedule, including the extension of Jake Tapper’s daily show to two hours and the addition of a Sunday show hosted by Abby Phillip.

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Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Additional reporting by Helen Coster in New York; Editing by David Gregorio

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