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Tucker Carlson Seeing Wild Fluctuations of Views for Tucker on Twitter

The abrupt dismissal of Tucker Carlson from Fox News in April led to speculation about where his next spot might be. It had been rumored Newsmax and NewsNation had each reached out to him, but even if one of those networks or an unnamed outlet hires Carlson, his Fox News contract prohibits him from appearing on it until after Dec. 31, 2024.

Despite the limitations of that contract, Carlson and his commentary have re-emerged in the public realm in recent weeks…in the form of videos on Twitter. Fox News has reportedly sent him cease-and-desist letters about posting online but Carlson claims he’s not receiving a salary from Twitter.

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Tucker Carlson Tonight was the No. 1 program on cable news averaging over 3 million viewers per night. But how have the videos on his Twitter account fared?

Tabulation of data for a TV program’s telecast — like the ones we’ve reported here — are based on an average audience per minute, as measured by Nielsen Media Research. Figures for views on Twitter are vastly different. Their current main indicators are something called tweet views which track impressions and reach that each tweet attracts.

Here are Carlson’s tweet views since his initial announcement back in May that he’d be releasing original content on Twitter. The data is as of July 17, 2023, at 9 p.m. ET:

Tweet: “We’re back.”
Tweet post time: Tuesday, May 9, 2023 @ 4:42 PM ET
Tweet views: 137.0 million

Tweet: “Ep. 1.”
Tweet post time: Tuesday, June 6, 2023 @ 6:00 PM ET
Tweet views: 120.0 million

Tweet: “Ep. 2  Cling to your taboos!”
Tweet post time: Thursday, June 8, 2023 @ 6:00 PM ET
Tweet views: 60.9 million

Tweet: “Ep. 3  America’s principles are at stake” (Trump indicted)
Tweet post time: Tuesday, June 13, 2023 @ 6:30 PM ET
Tweet views: 105.0 million

Tweet: “Ep. 4  Wannabe Dictator.”
Tweet post time: Thursday, June 15, 2023 @ 6:30 PM ET
Tweet views: 32.8 million

Tweet: “Ep. 5  As in most of the developing world, it’s safer to be the president’s son than his opponent”
Tweet post time: Tuesday, June 20, 2023 @ 2:41 PM ET
Tweet views: 17.8 million

Tweet: “Ep. 6 Bobby Kennedy is winning”
Tweet post time: Thursday, June 22, 2023 @ 6:50 PM ET
Tweet views: 32.6 million

Tweet: “Ep. 7 Irony Alert: the war for democracy enables dictatorship”
Tweet post time: Friday, June 23, 2023 @ 8:52 PM ET
Tweet views: 16.4 million

Tweet: “Ep. 8  Rick from Boston is telling us he wants to be known as female Admiral Rachel Levine. Accept his lie or pay the consequences, bigot”
Tweet post time: Friday, June 30, 2023 @ 6:31 PM ET
Tweet views: 9.8 million

Tweet: “Ep. 9 The Andrew Tate interview”
Tweet post time: Tuesday, July 11, 2023 @ 5:05 PM ET
Tweet views: 91.6 million

Throughout the month of June, Carlson’s Twitter episodes were trending downward at an accelerated rate. But he got a huge uptick with his first July edition which was his 150-minute interview with Andrew Tate, the British-American influencer and former kickboxer who is under house arrest in Romania on charges of rape, human trafficking, and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women.

It’s Carlson’s most-viewed tweet since his commentary on June 13 (the day of Trump’s indictment). Its impressions spiked from 75+ million to 92 million throughout the evening of Sunday, July 16 — five days after the interview’s initial release.

Yet, an impression of a tweet does not necessarily equate to viewing the tweet’s attached video. Up until late May, the Twitter video views statistic had been made available to everyone. One view was counted when a video was seen for at least two seconds of time.

Media observer Matt Binder posted Carlson’s actual video views, as of July 7 (the Tate interview had not been released yet):

Announcement: 28.9M 

Ep. 1: 26.7M 
Ep. 2: 13.9M 
Ep. 3: 22.1M  
Ep. 4: 10.2M 
Ep. 5: 6.4M 
Ep. 6: 8.5M 
Ep. 7: 5.5M 
Ep. 8: 3.8M

It bears repeating that these are total views on Twitter, and not on the same plane as the viewer numbers his Fox News Channel show had been drawing.

In addition, each video tally is far less than their respective “tweet view,” which may have accounted for Twitter’s removal of data for public view — the disparity negatively affected its perception of popularity.

Carlson’s former FNC program drew consistent figures nightly, but so far, his Twitter crowd has been more fickle. His videos in late June garnered far less interest than those in early June.

The tweet that featured his Andrew Tate interview seemed to have attached significant notice. But how many actually watched the 2.5-hour interview in full is unclear.

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