Fox News and MSNBC Are No. 1 and No. 2 Most-Watched Cable Networks in August

By A.J. Katz Comment

Americans continue to be enthralled by cable news, and it continues to show in the ratings department. Each of the big three cable news networks finished in the top 5 across basic cable across total day viewership (6 a.m. – 6 a.m.)

During the month of August 2017, Fox News topped all of basic cable in total day viewers, per Nielsen data. This is the 14th straight month Fox News has accomplished this feat. Additionally, FNC was the most-watched basic cable network in prime time, notching a monthly total viewer victory in prime time six of the past eight months.

Fox News also posted audience growth in August 2017 relative to its August 2016. The network was +6 percent in prime time viewers, and +7 percent in total day viewers from last year.

With Adults 25-54, Fox News posted +25 percent growth in prime time, and +28 percent growth in total day.

MSNBC continues to thrive ratings-wise in 2017. The network finished August 2017 No. 2 basic cable both in prime time and in total day viewers. The network posted +63 percent prime time viewer growth, +55 percent growth in the prime time demo, +54 percent growth in total day viewers, and +40 percent growth in the total day demo versus August 2016.

CNN had a solid month in its own right, finishing in the top 10 in total viewers, both in prime time and in total day. The network posted +41 percent growth in total prime time viewers, +54 percent growth in the prime time A25-54 demo, +22 percent growth in total day viewers and +39 percent growth in the total day demo versus August 2016.

Armed with a re-vamped lineup in the afternoon and early evenings, CNN’s sister network HLN held steady in total prime time viewers but posted +2 percent growth in total day viewers from Aug. 2016.

Additionally, here are the five most-watched basic cable networks of August 2017:

Top 5 Basic Cable Networks of August 2017 (Prime Time)

  1. Fox News (2,206,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,835,000)
  3. USA (1,499,000)
  4. HGTV (1,429,000)
  5. TBS (1,258,000)

Top 5 Basic Cable Networks: August 2017 (Total Day)

  1. Fox News (1,345,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (1,165,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,002,000)
  4. CNN (832,000)
  5. Adult Swim (809,000)

On the business news side, CNBC posted +8 percent growth in total prime time viewers, but was -30 percent in total day versus August 2016.

Fox Business posted double digit audience growth from last year, +16 percent in prime time viewers, and +22 percent in total day viewers from last year.

Fox Business defeated CNBC in total Business Day (M-F, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.) viewers for the 10th straight month. But CNBC continues to set the standard as No. 1 across business news in prime time and in total day viewers.

Basic Cable Ranker: August 2017 (Total Viewers)

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