The Top Cable News Programs of February 2017 Are…

By A.J. Katz 

February 2017 was another big month for cable news, and some of the genre’s top programs saw double digits audience growth in February 2017 versus February 2016. Here’s a look at the top 10 in total viewers and in the key A25-54 demo:

Total Viewers P2+:

  1. The O’Reilly Factor (4,187,000)
  2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (3,282,000)
  3. The Five (3,054,000)
  4. Special Report with Bret Baier (3,050,000)
  5. Hannity (2,822,000)
  6. The First 100 Days with Martha MacCallum (2,770,000)
  7. The Rachel Maddow Show (2,231,000)
  8. Outnumbered (2,184,000)
  9. America’s Newsroom (2,152,000)
  10. Your World with Neil Cavuto (2,039,000)

A25-54:

  1. The O’Reilly Factor (770,000)
  2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (695,000)
  3. Hannity (653,000)
  4. Special Report with Bret Baier (542,000)
  5. The First 100 Days (534,000)
  6. The Rachel Maddow Show (520,000)
  7. The Five (515,000)
  8. Anderson Cooper 360 (507,000)
  9. The O’Reilly Factor – repeat (461,000)
  10. Erin Burnett Outfront (438,000)

Fox News had 9 of the top 10 programs in total viewers and 7 out of the 10 ten programs in A25-54. The O’Reilly Factor was No. 1, both in total viewers and in the news demo. The program grew +31 percent in total viewers from last February. Tucker Carlson Tonight ranked No. 2, and grew +31 percent in total audience and +55 in the demo. Hannity ranked No. 3 in the demo, growing +55 percent, and coming No. 5 total viewers. Special Report  grew +27 percent in total viewers and +36 percent in the demo, while The First 100 Days grew +32 percent in total viewers and +58 percent in the demo.

MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was the most-watched non-Fox News program across cable news, ranking No. 7 ahead of Fox News programs like Outnumbered, America’s Newsroom and Your World. Maddow also out-performed its February 2016 total viewer average by a whopping +96 percent. Maddow was also the top non-Fox News program in the key 25-54 demo, edging programs like The Five and AC 360.

Anderson Cooper 360 was CNN’s most-watched program, but finished No. 20 in total audience across cable news, ranking behind MSNBC programs, Maddow, Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, All in with Chris Hayes, 11th Hour with Brian Williams, and Hardball with Chris Matthews.

While CNN may have struggled relative to MSNBC in total audience, most of its programs out performed MSNBC’s when it came to key A25-54 demo. AC 360 ranked No. 8 overall among A25-54, and was +77 percent in the demo relative to its February 2016 performance. Erin Burnett Outfront was the network’s No. 2 program in the demo in February, and ranked No. 10 across cable news. The 438,000 A25-54 viewer average for the month is the best monthly average in program history. Outfront was also +86 percent versus its February 2016 average.

Cable News Show Ranker: Feb. 2017 (Total Viewers)

Cable News Show Ranker: Feb. 2017 (A25-54)

Cable News Show Ranker: Feb. 2017 (A18-49)

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