While Fox News has recently been struggling in primetime ratings, falling behind MSNBC this past month, the right-leaning was THE destination for coverage President Donald Trump’s primetime Oval Office address on border security and the Democratic response to the president’s largely-partisan appeal to the American public.
According to Nielsen, Fox News averaged 8.043 million total viewers and 1.870 million in the key 25-54 demographic from 9 PM to 9:30 PM, which is when the two addresses aired. Not only did Fox News lead all of cable news for the coverage, but it beat out all of the major broadcast channels.
For half-hour, MSNBC nabbed 4.243 million viewers overall and 811,000 in the key demo. CNN drew a demo audience of 1.385 million and 3.566 million total viewers. ABC led in the demo, pulling in 1.881 million while capturing an overall audience of 5.801 million.
In terms of the split between the two speeches, Fox News lost some audience between Trump’s address and the Democratic response. For the 9 PM to 9:15 PM quarter-hour, FNC nagged 8.221 million total viewers, compared to 7.864 million in the 9:15 to 9:30 split. Meanwhile, both CNN and MSNBC saw significant gains between the Trump speech and Dem address (CNN: 3,390,000 / 3,742,000 MSNBC: 4,025,000 / 4,461,00).
During the entire 9 PM hour, FNC grabbed 7.129 million total viewers and 1.645 million in the 25-54 demo. CNN drew 3.536 million viewers overall and 1.320 million in the demographic. MSNBC averaged 839,000 in the demographic and a total audience of 4.273 million.
For the primetime 8 PM to 11 PM slot, Fox News averaged 4.850 million viewers overall and 1.119 million in the key demo. MSNBC delivered an overall audience of 3.388 million and 647,000 in the demographic. CNN attracted 930,000 demo viewers and a total viewership of 2.584 million.