Fox News Makes It 10 Straight Weeks as Cable’s No. 1 Network in Total Day

By A.J. Katz 

For the 10th consecutive week, Fox News was the most-watched basic cable network in total day, per Nielsen. FNC has been No. 1 in total day for 16 of the past 17 weeks.

In prime time, the network finished the week ranked No.2 in total viewers, only behind FS1, which delivered superlative ratings for its coverage of the National League Championship Series.

Fox News was the most-watched network for the final presidential debate on Oct. 19, moderated by Chris Wallace. FNC averaged 11.3 million viewers, besting all networks, including both broadcast and cable news, in total viewers. Additionally, FNC claimed 7 of the top 25 most-watched cable telecasts last week, including the No. 2 telecast with coverage of the debate.

Fox News remains the dominant force in cable news when it comes to total audience, but CNN is on a hot streak in the category news advertisers covet: Adults 25-54. CNN finished No. 1 across cable news in the demo for the fourth consecutive week, both in total day and prime time, a feat not achieved by the network since 2001.

AC 360 led the charge for CNN, beating The O’Reilly Factor last week at 8 p.m. in the demo for the first time since the 2016 DNC, and for only the 6th time since 2013.

CNN ranked No. 3 last week in total prime time viewers, and No. 3 in total day viewers. MSNBC ranked No. 6 in total prime time viewers, and No. 4 in total day viewers.

CNBC ranked No. 45 in total prime time viewers, but No. 62 in total day viewers. HLN ranked No. 49 in total prime time viewers, and No. 39 in total day viewers.

Fox Business ranked No. 60 in total prime time viewers, and No. 58 in total day viewers. Intelligence Report with Trish Regan beat CNBC’s Power Lunch in total viewers for the first time ever (154,000 vs. 136,000). Regan hosted her program live from Las Vegas and was part of FBN’s team coverage during the final presidential debate.

Here are the top 5 ad-supported cable networks in total viewers for the week of Oct. 17:

Top 5 – Prime Time (P2+)

  1. FS1 (4,235,000)
  2. FNC (3,306,000)
  3. CNN (2,226,000)
  4. ESPN (2,222,000)
  5. AMC (2,057,000)

Top 5 – Total Day (P2+)

  1. FNC (1,543,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (1,113,000)
  3. CNN (1,069,000)
  4. MSNBC (945,000)
  5. ESPN (898,000)

Below is the full cable ranker:

Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Oct. 17 (Total Viewers)