Here Are Hurricane Harvey Cable News Ratings

By Chris Ariens 

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As Hurricane Harvey barreled into South Texas Friday night, cable news viewers flocked to Weather Channel, Fox News and CNN for coverage, while MSNBC, which had a strong performance the prior Friday, was down slightly week-to-week.

The Weather Channel was the most-watched cable network Friday and Saturday in the A25-54 demo. During the height of the storm, Friday through Sunday, the network reached over 37 million viewers.

  • Friday, August 25 (3 a.m. – 3 a.m.) A25-54 demo
    Weather – 404,000
    Fox News – 310,000
    CNN – 3o3,000 
    MSNBC – 244,000
  • Saturday, August 26 (3 a.m. – 3 a.m.) A25-54 demo
    Weather – 367,000
    Fox News – 277,000
    CNN – 270,000 
    MSNBC – 150,000

Fox News was most-watched among total viewers while CNN was most-watched in the demo for the early coverage of the storm on cable news, which also included some news from Pres. Trump: his pardon of convicted Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his guidance on the transgender military ban.

  • Friday, August 25 (8 p.m. – Midnight) Total Viewers / Demo
    Fox News – 2,184,000 / 457,000
    CNN – 1,418,000 / 481,000
    MSNBC – 2,049,000 / 444,000

And the previous week:

  • Friday, August 18 (8 p.m. – Midnight) Total Viewers / Demo
    Fox News – 1,736,000 / 405,000
    CNN – 1,191,000 / 394,000
    MSNBC – 2,127,000 / 459,000

And for comparison to Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, the day Hurricane Sandy made landfall, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC had a combined average of 7.295 million total viewers in prime time and 4.484 million in total day. (Keeping in mind, Sandy impacted a much larger population center of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut and consisted of several more days of anticipatory coverage than Harvey.) The combined Fox News, CNN and MSNBC average Friday night for Harvey’s landfall was 6.032 million in prime time and 3.829 million in total day.