Week of Jan. 27 Basic Cable Ranker: Fox News Is No. 1, Earning Its Most-Watched Week In Total Day Since Jan. 2017

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News has been attracting massive audiences recently, lifted by its wall-to-wall coverage of the Senate impeachment trial.

It was the most-watched network on basic cable last week, the week of Jan. 27, both in total day and during prime time.

Not only did Fox News finish No. 1 last week in total viewers, but it delivered its most-watched week since Jan. 2017 (the month of Trump’s inauguration) in total day, averaging a whopping 2.1 million total viewers and 361,000 adults 25-54.


In prime time, FNC also outperformed the competition, garnering 3.4 million viewers and 561,000 in the 25-54 demo. FNC’s 561,000 demo average for the week is only -20,000 vs. ESPN, which is traditionally tops across basic cable in that measurement.

Washington-based show Tucker Carlson Tonight and The Ingraham Angle each delivered their best ratings for a week in program history.

Hannity, the No. 1 show on cable news, averaged its second largest total audience in program history (4.3 million total viewers). Fox News @ Night anchored by Shannon Bream also had its second-most-watched week ever.

Additionally, FBN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight marked its 100th consecutive weekly win over CNBC in the 7 p.m. ET (in Total Viewers, not A25-54), according to Nielsen data. The program scored its 57th straight week as the No. 1 business TV news show in Total Viewers.

Fox News was also the most-watched cable news network for impeachment coverage last week, during the 12-3 p.m. ET time period. ABC News was No. 1 in Adults 25-54.

MSNBC and CNN grabbed positive ratings headlines as well. As has become custom in recent years, MSNBC earned the second-most viewers of any basic cable network for the week. This past week, it averaged 1.6 million in prime time and 1.1 million in total day.

CNN grabbed a top 5 spot as well, finished No. 5 in total prime time viewers (1.1 million) and No. 3 in total day viewers (769,000).

MSNBC beat CNN in average total viewers for the week, while CNN averaged more adults 25-54 than its counterpart.

All in all, a pretty good week for all of the cable newsers, not just Fox News.

However, compared to the same week 1 year ago, it was Fox News which significant year-over-year viewer growth. FNC was +54% in total prime time viewers, and +52% in total day viewers. There was even year-over-year growth in the demo, +55% in the prime time demo and +50% in the total day demo.

MSNBC, on the other hand, was down year-over-year in the relevant categories: Total prime time viewers (-16%), total day viewers (-1%), the prime time demo (-20%) and total day demo (-9%).

CNN was -1% in total prime time viewers from last year, but +4% in total day viewers. Its performance in A25-54, however, was not quite as strong: -16% in prime time and -10% in total day.

Cable News Ratings (A25-54)

  • FNC – Prime time (561,000) and Total Day (361,000)
  • CNN – Prime time (278,000) and Total Day (188,000)
  • MSNBC – Prime time (268,000) and Total Day (169,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Prime Time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (3,384,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,588,000)
  3. ESPN (1,214,000)
  4. HGTV (1,126,000)
  5. CNN (1,084,000)
  6. A&E (1,050,000)
  7.  History (1,004,000)
  8. Hallmark Channel (982,000)
  9. Discovery (942,000)
  10. TBS (936,000)

Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,070,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,081,000)
  3. CNN (769,000)
  4. HGTV (702,000)
  5. ESPN (652,000)
  6. Nickelodeon (566,000)
  7. ID (562,000)
  8. Hallmark (533,000)
  9. A&E (527,000)
  10. Food Network (505,000)

Source: Nielsen, live+SD data.


Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Jan. 27 (Total Viewers) by TVNewser on Scribd

Additionally, the Adults 25-54 ranker:

Basic Cable Ranker: Week of Jan. 27 (Adults 25-54) by TVNewser on Scribd