Boosted by the broadcast of its first-ever primary debate, Fox Business Network will go down as the fastest-growing cable network in 2015.
The debate, along with FBN’s original prime time series Strange Inheritance, helped the network see a 125 percent increase in total viewers and 178 percent increase in the demo, the largest increase in all of cable for the year.
“Once we hit the 80 million distribution mark this year, I knew viewers would begin to see what I’ve known all along — we have the best anchors, hosts and reporters in financial news who out-perform CNBC every day and deliver the most compelling business programming on television,” said FNC and FBN chairman & CEO Roger Ailes in a statement.
Ailes shook up FBN’s programming earlier this year. As its agreement with Don Imus came to an end, Ailes moved Maria Bartiromo to the pre-market hours, and brought on Trish Regan for a new afternoon show.
Ailes was not always convinced FBN would be a success. In a wide-ranging interview last month, he told us, “If you go back and read the press around the time we launched I was always telling Rupert [Murdoch] ‘don’t do it, don’t do it.’ I dragged my feet for a long time, because I said ‘look we’re walking into a climate on business news where there is simply no demand for it.’ But one of the things I love about Rupert is he’s an eternal optimist. So he signed off on a billion dollars like he was ordering a ham sandwich.”
FBN was up +49 percent in total viewers and up +75 percent in the demo for total day viewing vs. 2014. The network is set to host a second GOP debate next month.
We’ll have the final 2015 ratings for the cable news networks on Dec. 30.