2017 Business TV Ratings: FBN Is No. 1 in Business Day

By A.J. Katz 

Fox Business and CNBC engaged in an intense battle for TV business news ratings supremacy in 2017.

It was FBN that finished 2017 with its first yearly win over CNBC in total viewers during Business Day, per Nielsen live+same-day data.

What exactly is Business Day? Well, for business TV networks, it’s defined as Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET., and is considered the de-facto prime time for the business TV genre. These networks’ Business Day rates are different from their prime time rates, and they’re generally higher.

FBN saw double digit total viewer growth from 2016 across Business Day, + 28 percent in total viewers (197,000) and +14 percent in the A25-54 demo (25,000), and all of FBN’s programs recorded their most-watched year to date, delivering five of the six most-watched business shows in the process.

The most-watched programs on business TV this year included the Maria Bartiromo-hosted Mornings with Maria, Varney & Co, Cavuto Coast to Coast, Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman, and The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan.

Lou Dobbs led the charge for Fox Business. His program, Lou Dobbs Tonight was the year’s most-watched program across all of business television, averaging 345,000 total viewers (+28 percent from 2016) and 41,000 in the key A25-54 demo.

“From the Dow all-time highs to the SNAP IPO, FBN comes out on top when major business news breaks, proving that we have become not only the most watched, but the most trusted source for business news,” says Fox Business president Brian Jones.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Fox Biz and CNBC in key dayparts.

2017 Business Day:

FBN: 197,000 total viewers, +28 percent / 25,000 A25-54, +14 percent

CNBC: 167,000 total viewers, -11 percent / 30,000 A25-54, -19 percent

Despite a banner year for Fox Business, CNBC remains the business news network of choice among younger news viewers watching during Business Day, where, as previously mentioned, the business networks charge higher rates.

2017 Prime Time:

FBN: 106,000 total viewers

CNBC: 310,000 total viewers

CNBC maintained a healthy lead over Fox Business in prime time in 2017, and was down just -1 percent from its 2016 average.