MSNBC drew 4.3 million viewers and trounced Fox News’s regular programming with 1/6 hearing coverage.
MSNBC Beats Fox News By Millions Of Viewers With 1/6 Hearing Coverage
MSNBC provided the ratings details to PoliticusUSA:
MSNBC’s special coverage of the first House January 6th committee primetime hearing was #1 across all of cable television and #2 across all of television among total viewers, according to Nielsen.
During the hearing from 8–10 PM, MSNBC averaged 4.3 million viewers versus FOX’s 3.1 million and CNN’s 2.7 million. MSNBC’s special coverage (7–11 PM), which was led by Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace, and Joy Reid, along with Chris Hayes, Ari Melber, and Lawrence O’Donnell, delivered 3.6 million total viewers versus FOX’s 2.8 million and CNN’s 2.3 million.
During the hearing (8–10 PM), MSNBC ranked #2 across all of television finishing ahead of #4 CBS, #5 FOX News Channel and #6 CNN. In the average minute, 58% more viewers watched MSNBC than CNN.
Yesterday was the strongest day for MSNBC live streams since early March and one of the top 10 days of the year across key metrics.
Live stream hours were up over +90% versus average and video streams were up over +50% versus average for the day.
On MSNBC.com, live viewers were up more than 5x average levels (+418%) during the January 6th hearing programming.
Fox News Did Not Gain Viewers By Refusing To Show The 1/6 Committee Hearing
Fox News thought that by sticking with their regular programming instead of televising the hearings, they could show the strength of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and the network. Carlson averages around 3 million viewers on a good night. The same goes for Sean Hannity.
Fox’s counterprogramming effort did not attract anyone outside of the regular Fox News audience. Fox’s total audience has a ceiling of roughly 3 million viewers. The network hit that ceiling and gained very little in terms of viewership.
MSNBC Had Rachel Maddow Back And It Showed In The Ratings
The presence of Rachel Maddow anchoring MSNBC’s coverage almost certainly drew more viewers to the network. MSNBC’s viewership numbers for the hearing were almost four times larger than the MSNBC Prime 9 PM show that has been airing T-F.
The combination of Rachel Maddow and the hearing was a powerful draw for viewers.
Will Fox News Televise The Rest Of The 1/6 Committee Hearings?
Fox News was still a top 5 network when it did not televise the hearings, but after taking a drubbing from MSNBC on the first night, will Fox News reverse its decision?
The success of the first hearing makes it likely that all of the other networks will continue to provide live special coverage. Fox News opted for propaganda over news, and it is uncertain whether they will make the same choice over the next two weeks.
When given a choice between facts and propaganda, the American people chose facts.
That’s bad news for Fox, Trump, and the Republican Party.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association