January 2018 Ratings: Fox News Is Cable News’ Most-Watched Network For 16 Years Straight

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News has just set another milestone: it’s now been the most-watched cable news channel for 16 consecutive years.

For the month of January, and for the 19th straight month, FNC is the most-watched basic cable channel, in total day.

FNC finished No. 2 in prime time viewers behind ESPN, which thrived this month thanks to its College Football Playoff broadcasts, and its NFL Wild Card broadcast.


The ratings for January, 2018 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun):  2,456,000 total viewers / 476,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun):  1,494,000 total viewers / 308,000 A25-54

Fox News did see audience declines versus Jan. 2017, both in prime time (-14 percent) and in total day (-18 percent). Cable news got a boost last January with coverage of Pres. Trump’s Inauguration and first days in office.

In terms of program performance, Fox News had 15 of the Top 20 most-watched cable news shows.

Fox & Friends marked 195 months as the No. 1 cable news program in its time period.. The 4 a.m. ET hour of Fox & Friends First hosted by Heather Childers, and the 5 a.m. ET hour of Fox & Friends First also won their respective time periods.

FNC’s early evening and prime time programming thrived. Tucker Carlson Tonight dominated the 8 p.m. competition in total viewers and the demo, and has even managed to outperform The O’Reilly Factor among adults 25-54.

Hannity was the most-watched cable news show for January, and defeated 9 p.m. rival Rachel Maddow in total viewers, though Maddow won the key A25-54 demo. The same was true for The Ingraham Angle, which defeated 10 p.m. competition The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell in total viewers, but fell short in the demo. Fox News @ Night anchored by Shannon Bream finished runner up in the 11 p.m. hour to The 11th Hour With Brian Williams.