Q1 2017 Ratings: Fox News is Cable’s Most-Watched Network

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News Channel, the most-watched cable news network since 2002, just set another record.

The network had its most-watched quarter ever and for the first three months of 2017, was the most-watched basic cable in both prime time and total day viewers.

FNC was up +27 percent in total day viewers and up +20 percent in total prime time viewers vs. Q1, 2016. Among the ad-friendly A25-54 demo, FNC was up +32 percent in total day, and up +19 percent in prime time.


Here are the network’s average live+ same day numbers for Q1 2017 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun):   2,844,000 total viewers /  576,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun):   1,713,000 total viewers /  359,000 A25-54

The 1.71 million viewers who tuned into Fox News in Total Day this past quarter represents a cable news record. The 2.84 million total in prime time represents the network’s second-best quarter ever in the daypart.

On the programming front, each hour during the 6 a.m. – 11 p.m. ET program lineup broke a network record with the most-watched hours ever for a quarter.

The most extraordinary achievement came from The O’Reilly Factor. Not only did The Factor have its most-watched quarter in program history, but it broke all previous records in cable news history for the highest-viewership ever for any given program in a quarter.