Coverage of President Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam, plus daytime coverage of Michael Cohen’s testimony in front of Congress on Wednesday proved to be a one-two punch for cable news in the ratings department.
For the week of Feb. 25, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN were the three most-watched cable networks in total day viewing (6 a.m. – 6 a.m.), and they were among the five-most-watched cable networks in prime time.
ox News once again led the way. It was the most-watched network on cable, both across total day and during the prime time daypart, per Nielsen data. The network marked eight straight weeks at No. 1 in total day, and seven straight weeks at No. 1 in prime time.
In addition to wins among total viewers, Fox News beat its cable news competition among adults 25-54.
- FNC – Prime time (418,000) and Total Day (256,000)
- MSNBC – Prime time (383,000) and Total Day (211,000)
- CNN – Prime time (352,000) and Total Day (232,000)
FNC was +6 percent in total prime time viewers, +8 percent in total day viewers, but -9 percent in the prime time demo and -10 percent in the total day demo vs. the comparable week in 2018.
MSNBC, which No. 2 in total day and in prime time, was +12 percent in total prime time viewers, +21 percent in total day viewers, but -8 percent in the prime time demo and -8 percent among total day viewers.
CNN always sees more audience growth than the competition when it comes to these significant breaking news events. This was true last week as well. Year-over-year, CNN was +33 percent in total prime time viewers, +18 percent in total day viewers, +19 percent in the prime time demo, and +6 percent in the total day demo.
On the programming front, Rachel Maddow was No. 1 on cable news last week, both among total viewers and in the key A25-54 demographic. Hannity and Tucker Carlson finished No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
Telecasts of Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Five, The Ingraham Angle and Special Report with Bret Baier were among the top 25 cable telecasts in total viewers for the week.
Here are the business TV news numbers for the week, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data:
Business Day (9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET)
- FBN: 195,000 total viewers and 21,000 A25-54
- CNBC: 186,000 total viewers and 31,000 A25-54
Market Hours (9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET)
- FBN: 201,000 total viewers and 22,000 A25-54
- CNBC: 188,000 total viewers and 31,000 A25-54
Additionally, a look at the basic cable top 10, followed by a larger list of basic cable network performance that’s ranked by total viewers.
Basic Cable Top 10 (Prime Time)
- Fox News (2,453,000)
- MSNBC (2,091,000)
- HGTV (1,260,000)
- USA (1,220,000)
- CNN (1,171,000)
- History (1,144,000)
- Discovery (1,124,000)
- ESPN (1,073,000)
- TBS (1,014,000)
- TLC (1,007,000)
Basic Cable Top 10 (Total Day)
- Fox News (1,480,000)
- MSNBC (1,246,000)
- CNN (812,000)
- Nickelodeon (761,000)
- HGTV (755,000)
- ID (727,000)
- USA (594,000)
- History (591,000)
- Hallmark Channel (576,000)
- Food Network (557,000)