According to Comscore TV Essentials® data, viewership decreased for CNN and MSNBC but increased for Fox News in 2022. The average audience (defined as the average number of TVs tuned to a program throughout a time period) for the prime news time slot (8 to 11 p.m.) decreased by 25% for CNN, from 1.1 million in 2021 to 828,000 in 2022. MSNBC’s audience declined by 6% over this period, from about 881,000 to 827,000. On the other hand, Fox News’ audience increased from 1.9 million in 2021 to 2.1 million in 2022, a 10% increase.
Newsmax, a relatively smaller cable news channel that gained prominence during the 2020 election, had an average audience of 129,000 in 2022, an 18% decline from 2021.
For the daytime news time slot (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.), CNN, MSNBC and Newsmax saw decreases to their average audiences in 2022 while Fox News saw a 12% increase.
Total revenue decreased for CNN and MSNBC and increased for Fox News in 2022, according to estimates from Kagan, a media research group in S&P Global Market Intelligence. CNN’s total revenue decreased by 5%, from $1.9 billion in 2021 to $1.8 billion in 2022. Similarly, MSNBC’s revenue fell from $977 million to $903 million, an 8% decrease. Fox News saw a 5% increase, from $3.1 billion in 2021 to $3.3 billion in 2022.
License (affiliate) fees, one of two main sources of revenue for the major cable channels, remained relatively stable for all three. Advertising revenue, these channels’ other main source of revenue, decreased by 13% for CNN and by 11% for MSNBC in 2022, while Fox News saw an 11% increase.
In 2022, Newsmax made $66 million in revenue, a 14% decrease from 2021. Since Newsmax had zero license fee revenue, virtually all of the channel’s revenue came from advertising.