Fox News is No. 1 Basic Cable Network in Total Day For 33 Straight Weeks

By A.J. Katz 

Last week was a wild one, news-wise. The cable news networks reported on the aftermath of the Charlottesville protests, terrorist attacks in Barcelona and the resignation of Steve Bannon from the Trump administration.

Fox News came out on top among total viewers, both in total day and in prime time, for the week of August 14. With the Monday – Sunday victory, FNC has now been the most-watched basic cable network in total day for the 33 consecutive weeks, and the most-watched basic cable network in prime time for 13 consecutive weeks. FNC programs made up 11 of the top 30 basic cable programs in total viewers, including various presentations of Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Five and Hannity.

Fox News posted a -4 percent decline in prime time, but improved +1 percent in total day versus the comparable week last year (w/o Aug. 15 2016).

MSNBC continues to perform well both in prime time and in total day. The network fell to Fox News by only an 80,000 viewer average in Mon-Sunday prime time, and ranked No. 2 overall across basic cable. MSNBC also posted +86 percent year-over-year prime time viewer growth.

CNN had a very solid week in its own right, finishing No. 6 in total prime time viewers across basic cable (+75 percent), and No. 4 in total day viewers (+42 percent year-over-year)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,058,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,978,000)
  3. USA (1,490,000)
  4. HGTV (1,416,000)
  5. TBS (1,311,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,280,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (1,134,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,088,000)
  4. CNN (908,000)
  5. Adult Swim (797,000)

Elsewhere on the cable news front, HLN ranked No. 48 in prime time viewers, and was +3 percent year-over-year. The network ranked No. 41 in total day viewers, and held even from last year.

On the business news front, CNBC performed well in prime time. The network ranked No. 45 this past week in the daypart, and posted +11 percent audience growth from the same week last year. On the downside, CNBC finished No. 62 in total day viewers, and was -45 percent in the daypart versus the comparable week last year.

With a mix of business news and politics, and a focus on the business day time period (Mon-Fri, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET), Fox Business Network continues to post year-over-year audience growth. The network was +1 percent in total prime time viewers versus last year, and was +21 percent in total day viewers.

Additionally, with another win this past week, Lou Dobbs Tonight has now been the most-watched show on business news for 52 consecutive weeks. This is a milestone accomplishment for Dobbs and the network.

Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Aug. 14 (Total Viewers)