February 2016 Ratings: Fox News Is Most-Watched Cable Channel for 6 Weeks, Breaking 13-Year Record

By Chris Ariens 

Fox News has broken its own record that stood since the Iraq War. The channel has been the most-watched basic cable network for the past six weeks, which hasn’t happened since March/April 2003, at the start of the Iraq War. In prime time, FNC was up +22 percent in viewers and up +24 percent in the A25-54 demo. In total day viewing, FNC was up +20 percent and up +16 percent, respectively.

The ratings for February, 2016 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun): 2,220,000 total viewers / 427,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 1,340,000 total viewers / 263,000 A25-54

Like its cable news competitors, the 2016 primaries have also been good to Fox News. But unlike CNN and MSNBC, FNC did not have the advantage of a primary debate in February. (That changes this week.) Hannity, which had multiple interviews with GOP candidates last month, showed the most growth: up +33 percent in both viewers and the demo. The O’Reilly Factor remains cable news’s No. 1 show, up +8 percent. The Kelly File (up +9 percent) follows, with Special Report with Bret Baier in third place. This was Baier’s most-watched month in the demo since November 2013.