November 2018 Ratings: Fox News Remains at the Top of the Cable Heap in Total Day Viewers

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News Channel continued its extraordinary streak as the most-watched network on basic cable for 29 months running. According to Nielsen data, FNC drew an average of 1.48 million viewers across the 24-hour day in November 2018, which is not only more than any other network on basic cable, but it’s also +3 percent vs. what it drew in November 2017.

Fox News finished No. 2 during prime time in November, behind only ESPN, a network that is thriving right now with college football and NFL programming. FNC posted +6 percent growth vs. November 2017 (2.44 million vs. 2.30 million).

While year-over-year growth is great, it’s safe to say Fox News got some help from this being an election month. November 2017 was not an election month.


Then there were the usual victories over its cable news competitors. Fox News defeated MSNBC and CNN not only in total audience for November, but also adults 25-54. With an average of 478,000 A25-54 viewers in prime time, FNC was +7 percent vs. the same month last year, but its 293,000 A25-54 viewers across the 24-hour day is -2 percent vs. last November.

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

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun): 2,439,000 total viewers / 478,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun):  1,475,000 total viewers / 293,000 A25-54

For the month of November, Fox News accounted for 10 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers and claimed six of the top 10 cable news programs in the 25-54 demo. Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle and The Five were among the top five in both total viewers and in the 25-54 demographic.

As expected, Hannity was the No. 1 cable news program for the 8th consecutive month in total viewers, and is on track to be the No. 1 show in cable news for all of 2018, the second year in a row.

Hannity was also No. 1 this month among adults 25-54 (571,000), followed by Carlson (539,000), which beat MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show in the demo (525,000) for the second consecutive month.

That said, Carlson was unable to equal Maddow’s total November audience (2,825,000 vs. 2,900,000).

Additionally, each of those three major cable news shows posted year-over-year losses.

Hannity, despite being No. 1, was -4 percent in total viewers and -11 percent in A25-54 viewers vs. Nov. 2017 ratings. Carlson was -3 percent in total viewers, and -8 percent in A25-54 vs. last year.  Interestingly, Maddow was +3 percent in total viewers, but a whopping -17 percent in A25-54 viewers vs. her Nov. 2017 performance.

Elsewhere on Fox News – Signature morning show Fox & Friends marked 205 months as the No. 1 cable news morning show in total viewers with an average of 1.6 million in total viewers and 346,000 in the demo for the month of November.

During the weekends, MediaBuzz hosted by Howie Kurtz delivered 1.4 million in total viewers and 258,000 in the 25-54 demo, besting CNN’s Reliable Sources in both categories (953,000 total viewers and 233,000 25-54 demo viewers).

Additionally, here are November ratings for Fox Business, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data.

Business Day:

FBN: 207,000 total viewers / 19,000 A25-54

CNBC: 180,000 total viewers / 37,000 A25-54

Total Day:

FBN: 146,000 total viewers / 16,000 A25-54

CNBC: 140,000 total viewers / 40,000 A25-54


Business News Ranker (Total Viewers):

  • Lou Dobbs Tonight (374,000)
  • Varney & Co. (267,000)
  •  Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman (223,000)
  •  After the Bell (203,000).