Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Jan. 28

By A.J. Katz 

For the week of Jan. 28, Fox News remained the No. 1 basic cable network in total viewers, both during prime time (2.2 million) and for the total day time period (1.4 million).

This is according to live-plus-same-day data for the week, from Nielsen.

Perhaps just as important to FNC is that it defeated its cable news competition in the key A25-54 demo, averaging 362,000 viewers from that measurement in prime time (Mon – Sun, 8 – 11 p.m. ET). MSNBC averaged 333,000 A25-54 prime time viewers, while CNN averaged 329,000.

Versus the comparable week last year, Fox News was down double digits in the key categories. One should note that the 2018 State of the Union took place during the year-ago week, and Fox News was by far the top cable news network for coverage of the address. This year’s State of the Union is taking place a week later (tonight) due to the partial government shutdown.

Having a State of the Union during the year-ago week didn’t seem to impact CNN and MSNBC’s year-over-year ratings trend. MSNBC was just -3 percent in prime time viewers, and +7 percent in total day viewers last week vs. the 2018 State of the Union week.

CNN was +3 in prime time viewers, and +5 percent in total day viewers last week vs. last year’s State of the Union week.

CNN beat MSNBC in the demo across the 24-hour daypart.

On the programming front – The Rachel Maddow Show was the No. 1 cable news program of the week across the board, averaging slightly more than 3 million viewers, and 561,600 A25-54 viewers. Tucker Carlson finished No. 2 across the board, followed by Hannity, who finished in third.

FNC’s The Five and MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell rounded out the cable news Top 5 in total viewers. CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time and The Last Word rounded out the cable news Top 5 in A25-54 viewers.

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,204,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,880,000)
  3. HGTV (1,308,000)
  4. USA (1,243,000)
  5. Hallmark Channel (1,184,000)
  6. History (1,139,000)
  7. CNN (1,097,000)
  8. A&E (1,051,000)
  9. Investigation Discovery (1,027,000)
  10. TLC (1,013,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,359,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,094,000)
  3. Nickelodeon (796,000)
  4. HGTV (767,000)
  5. Investigation Discovery (741,000)
  6. CNN (738,000)
  7. Hallmark (638,000)
  8. Food Network (601,000)
  9. USA (577,000)
  10. ESPN (558,000)

Source: Nielsen, live+SD data.

Cable News Rankings (Total Viewers)

  • FNC ranked No. 1 in prime time (2,204,000) and No. 1 in total day (1,359,000)
  • MSNBC ranked No. 2 in prime time (1,880,000) and No. 2 in total day (1,094,000)
  • CNN ranked No. 7 in prime time (1,097,000) and No. 6 in total day (738,000)

Cable News Ratings (A25-54)

  • FNC – Prime time (362,000) and Total Day (240,000)
  • MSNBC – Prime time (333,000) and Total Day (186,000)
  • CNN – Prime time (329,000) and Total Day (209,000)

Below, business TV news ratings for the week of Jan. 28, a week highlighted by the markets’ reaction to the better-than-expected January jobs report.

Business Day (9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ET)

  • FBN: 207,000 total viewers / 22,000 A25-54
  • CNBC: 201,000 total viewers / 32,000 A25-54

Market hours (9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET) 

  • FBN: 209,000 total viewers /  21,000 A25-54
  • CNBC: 204,000 total viewers / 33,000 A25-54

Week of Jan. 28 (Total Viewers)

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