Trump smokes critics with record 12 million rally viewers

Nearly 12 million Americans tuned in to watch President Donald Trump appear at his first rally since March after a coronavirus-driven hiatus.

His fans may have been wary of showing up at the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa last Saturday, but they tuned in by the millions from the safe social distance of their homes.

Fox News Channel made history after drawing a record-setting audience, the largest Saturday night primetime audience in the history of the 24-year-old network, according to Nielson. It was also the most-watched network in all of television during primetime for the week of June 15-21.

Trump’s speech averaged 8.2 million total viewers during the 9 p.m. ET hour, helping the network to surpass the primetime averages of CBS, NBC and ABC.  His rally was also the top-rated, non-entertainment telecast in all of primetime television for the week, earning 6.7 million total viewers and 1.4 million in the key demographic of adults age 25-54.

“WOW! The Trump Rally gives @FoxNews the “LARGEST SATURDAY NIGHT AUDIENCE IN ITS HISTORY”. Isn’t it amazing that virtually nobody in the Lamestream Media is reporting this rather major feat!” the president tweeted Monday as his critics stewed quietly in humiliation.

A statement released by Fox News Channel noted that, “During the time period of Fox’s rally, CNN placed second to Fox’s 7.661 million viewers with 2.201 million viewers, while MSNBC was third with 1.907 million viewers.

For the full prime-time period, CNN was also second with 2.189 million viewers behind Fox’s first-place ranking of 6.655 million viewers. MSNBC was in third at 2.063 million viewers.

CNN and MSNBC chose to air clips of Trump’s speech but still drew twice as many viewers as they normally get on Saturday nights. Collectively, the three networks had nearly 12 million viewers for its Trump coverage, Nielsen said.

All through the evening, Fox topped its rivals even when they were added together. From 9 – 10 p.m. Fox almost doubled the combined ratings of its cable news competitors. Fox’s 8.204 million viewers easily topped CNN’s 2.183 million viewers and MSNBC’s 2.010 million.

MSNBC was second among cable networks for the second consecutive week, averaging 1.978 million viewers. CNN was third for the second consecutive week, averaging 1.644 million.

The rally coverage that aired during Watters’ World and Justice With Judge Jeanine Saturday averaged 7.654 million viewers. The Greg Gutfeld Show that followed the rally averaged 4.642 million viewers, eighth among prime-time programs between June 15 and Sunday and second among cable programs, giving Fox News Channel its largest Saturday prime-time audience ever, with 6.65 million viewers.

Trump 2020 Communications Director Tim Murtaugh said the campaign brought in several more million viewers through their own social media outlets.

“President Trump’s rally in Tulsa attracted over 4 million unique viewers across all of the campaign’s digital media channels. The live-streamed pre-rally shows drew an audience of more than 2.5 million unique viewers by themselves,” he bragged.

“As if those numbers weren’t high enough, the Fox News Channel’s YouTube stream also picked up “more than 2.1 million views, while the Fox Business Network’s live stream drew over 580,000 [viewers]. The rally was streamed on a variety of other platforms as well,” he said.