Summer usually brings some of the year’s most iconic television, from the crack of bats on baseball’s opening day to the hushed voices of the final rounds of golf’s PGA Tour. Typically, these are also among the highest-rated shows on television during the summer months—but 2020 has shattered all the rules.
Since June 1, Fox News Channel has been not just the most-watched cable news network, but the highest-rated network in all of television. With an average prime-time audience of 3.451 million viewers, FNC beat CBS (3.430 million), NBC (3.155 million), ABC (2.690 million) and Fox Broadcasting (1.414 million).
With the coronavirus dominating news coverage since early in the year, cable news has seen big jumps in viewership, but neither CNN nor MSNBC has managed to deliver audiences as consistently big as Fox News. The network’s ratings delivery has held strong, even as some major sports—initially canceled or delayed due to the pandemic—returned to television.
On July 24th, ESPN’s coverage of Major League Baseball’s opening day featured a marquee prime-time matchup between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals. The game drew an average total audience of 4.005 million viewers and finished as the fourth-highest-rated show on television that night. But Fox’s Hannity and Tucker Carlson Tonight both beat the big game, with Hannity taking first place in all of television with 4.340 million viewers, followed by CBS’ prime-time show Young Sheldon (4.111 million viewers) and Tucker Carlson Tonight (4.016 million).
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SOURCE: Forbes, Mark Joyella