While Fox News Channel personality Tucker Carlson is known for making controversial statements on the air, threats and boycotts from his critics have not turned off loyal viewers.
According to viewer data covering the most recent quarter, Carlson’s average of 4.4 million viewers on any given night falls just short of the 4.5 million averaged by cable news leader Sean Hannity, who hosts a show on the same network.
Leading in key demographic
As the information released by Fox News itself on Tuesday revealed, several other Fox programs saw consistent popularity in recent months.
The Five maintained a healthy 3.5 million nightly viewers on average, followed by The Ingraham Angle, which is hosted by Laura Ingraham.
Although Carlson’s program took the second-place spot overall, it dominated the ratings among the coveted demographic including viewers between 24 and 54 years old, according to MediaPost.
Other networks trail far behind
Overall, Fox News remained the clear leader among cable news channels, pulling in an average of 3.5 million viewers throughout the 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. programming block, the network reported.
By comparison, second-place MSNBC registered just 2.1 million viewers on average during the same period.
CNN was even further behind in the ratings, with its most popular host, Chris Cuomo, drawing only average only 1.7 million viewers per night over the past three months.
Fox News Channel noted that CNN’s top-rated program, Cuomo PrimeTime, “finished behind 12 different Fox News programs and seven MSNBC shows.”
Carlson faces boycotts
While Carlson might lead among the age group deemed most attractive to advertisers, many of those very same advertisers have felt increasing pressure to pull their spots from his show. In June, for example, several major companies announced that they would no longer advertise on the program in response to calls for a boycott over Carlson’s take on the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We haven’t run ads on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ since early May and have canceled all future placements,” T-Mobile tweeted at the time. “We will continue to support those who stand against racial injustice.”
While Carlson’s arguments and analysis might be deemed too incendiary for some mainstream brands and social media activists, those views appear to be the very reason millions of loyal viewers continue to tune in each weeknight.