February 2013 Ratings: Fox News On Top Despite Year-Over-Year Declines

By Merrill Knox 

Fox News remains the top cable news network, beating MSNBC and CNN combined in both Total Day and primetime for the month of February. Despite being up for the month, Fox News — like the other cable news networks — was down year-over-year.

The ratings for February, 2013 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 1,790,000 Total Viewers / 296,000 A25-54
  • Total Day Mon-Sun): 1,094,000 Total Viewers / 227,000 A25-54

Compared to the same month last year, Fox News was flat in Total Viewers and down -16% in the A25-54 demographic in Total Day. (Note: percentages are based on a blend of Live +7 and Live +3 data.) In primetime, the network is down -7% and -29%, respectively. It should be noted that February 2012 was a big month for political news, with the GOP primaries in full swing, and also saw extensive coverage of Whitney Houston‘s death, which was a ratings boost for all of the cable news networks.

For the month, Fox News had the top 13 programs in cable news in Total Viewers, and the top nine programs among younger viewers.

“Special Report with Bret Baier,” which marks 50 months at number one in its timeslot this month, was up +7 in Total Viewers and down -15% in the A25-54 demographic compared to February 2012.

In primetime, “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity” and “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” were all down year-over-year. O’Reilly’s program was down -3% in Total Viewers and -26% in A25-54 viewers. Hannity’s program was down -11% in Total Viewers and 35% in the demo, and Van Susteren’s show was down -21% and -32%, respectively.

Fox News improved on its January ratings across the board: in primetime, FNC is up +11% in both Total Viewers and A25-54 viewers, and in Total Day the network is up +7% and +9%, respectively.