Week of Feb. 10 Basic Cable Ranker: New Hampshire Primary Coverage Keeps Fox News at No. 1

By A.J. Katz 

Driven by record-setting prime time coverage of the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 11, Fox News kept up its streak as the most-watched network on basic cable.

For the week of Feb. 10, 2020 in prime time, Fox News averaged 3.2 million viewers and 488,000 in the 25-54 demo. The network also delivered 1.7 million viewers and 298,000 in the 25-54 demo in total day. That’s according to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.

Hannity was the top prime time cable news program of the week, and won the 9 p.m. hour for the 49th consecutive week. Tucker Carlson Tonight and The Ingraham Angle each had their 4th-most-watched weeks their respective launches, while for the 12th consecutive week, Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream was the top cable news show in the 11 p.m. slot among Adults 25-54.


Additionally, presentations of Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle and The Five comprised 13 of the top 15 telecasts in all of cable.

Versus the same week 1 year ago, Fox News was +27% in prime time, +18% in total day viewers. The network also posted year-over-year growth in the news demo, +11% in prime time and +15% in total day.

On the digital front, Fox News earned 114 million multiplatform unique visitors in January 2020, (an +8% increase from January 2019) which is a network-record. That’s according to data from Comscore.

“From the airstrike that killed Soleimani, to the Senate’s impeachment trial, to 2020 presidential election coverage, we are serving our loyal audience with enterprise reporting and compelling, original content on everything from politics, entertainment, and more around the globe,” Fox News digital editor-in-chief Porter Berry said in a statement.

Speaking of digital, CNN Digital had a great month in its own right. In fact, Jan. 2020 was the company’s best month ever. Comscore’s monthly competitive report showed CNN’s digital audience in the U.S. in January was a record 148 million unique visitors.

Moving back to TV, CNN ranked No. 9 in prime time and nabbed a top 5 ranking in total day viewing (No. 5).

MSNBC held strong as one of the 5-most-watched basic cable networks in multiple dayparts. The network took No. 3 ranking in prime time and No. 2 in total day, and with tonight’s Democratic debate on tap, MSNBC should maintain that top 3 ranking going forward.

Both CNN and MSNBC shed viewers from a year ago. MSNBC was -14% in prime time and -15% in total day viewers. The network slumped even more in the demo, -18% in prime time and -23% in total day.

CNN’s losses weren’t quite as severe. The network was -5% in prime time, -9% in total day viewers. Additionally, -9% in the prime time demo and -20% in the total day demo.

TNT shot up to No.2 for the week in basic cable when it came to average total prime time audience. The network also finished No. 1 in the key demo. TNT was fueled by its coverage of NBA All-Star Weekend, capped off by the game itself on Sunday night.

Cable News Ratings (A25-54)

  • Fox News – Prime Time (488,000) and Total Day (298,000)
  • MSNBC – Prime Time (276,000) and Total Day (138,000)
  • CNN – Prime Time (266,000) and Total Day (156,000)

Below, the top 10 basic cable networks of the week, ranked by Total Viewers.

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime Time

  1. Fox News (3,231,000)
  2. TNT (2,124,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,677,000)
  4. HGTV (1,224,000)
  5. History (1,192,000)
  6. A&E (1,041,000)
  7. TBS (1,024,000)
  8. TLC (1,005,000)
  9. CNN (969,000)
  10. Hallmark (965,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Day

  1. FNC (1,743,000)
  2. MSNBC (920,000)
  3. TNT (700,000)
  4. HGTV (695,000)
  5. CNN (630,000)
  6. History (555,000)
  7. ID (553,000)
  8. Hallmark (545,000)
  9. A&E (543,000)
  10. Nickelodeon (535,000)

Basic cable ranker: Week of Feb. 10 (Total Viewers)