NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Continuing its record-breaking ratings year, FOX News Channel (FNC) topped basic cable in both primetime and total day as the most-watched network for the third quarter. This marks the second quarter in the 2016 calendar year that FNC has notched the number one spot in both day parts, a first for the network which turns 20 next month. Furthermore, the third quarter win marks 59 quarters as the top news network in primetime and total day, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Delivering its most-watched quarter ever in total day viewers, FNC averaged 1.4 million viewers and 276,000 in the key 25-54 demo over a 24 hour period. In primetime, FNC was up double-digits compared to the same quarter last year, which included the network’s record-breaking Republican presidential primary debate with 24 million viewers. FNC handily beat the cable news competition, averaging 2.4 million viewers in primetime (up 25%) and 459,000 (up 16%) in the demo. Meanwhile, MSNBC topped CNN in primetime total viewers for the first time in two years.
In Q3, FNC claimed the top 10 programs in total viewers and seven out of the top 10 in the 25-54 demo among cable news programs. Additionally, every FNC program is up double-digits in both viewers and demo compared to the same quarter last year. Multiple programs are delivering their highest-rated quarters ever in viewers including America’s Newsroom, Happening Now, Shepard Smith Reporting, The Five, The Kelly File, Hannity, MediaBuzz and Justice with Judge Jeanine.
Special Report with Bret Baier delivered its second highest-rated quarter ever in total viewers with 2.4 million (+19%) and 392,000 in the demo (+31%). In primetime, beginning at 7PM/ET, On the Record averaged 2.1 million viewers (+22%) and 371,000 in the key demo (+26%). The O’Reilly Factor (8PM/ET) continued its dominance as the #1 cable news program for 66 consecutive quarters with 3.2 million viewers (+13%) and 550K in the A25-54 demo (+10%). At 9PM/ET, The Kelly File was the #1 cable news program in the A25-54 demo for the quarter and delivered its highest-rated quarter ever in total viewers and the key demo with 2.9 million (+23%) and 569,000 in A25-54 (+24%). Rounding out primetime, Hannity also delivered a quarter high in viewers since the program launched in the 10PM/ET timeslot in 2013. The program averaged 2.5 million in total viewers (+43%) and 564,000 (+39%) in the key demo.
Contributing to the success of the third quarter high was the coverage of the Republican & Democratic National Conventions. Over the course of the eight days of both conventions, FNC was the most-watched cable news network averaging 4.5 million in total viewers, topping CNN and MSNBC. FNC’s total convention coverage was up 5% in primetime viewers compared to the convention coverage in 2012. The top program in viewership was FNC’s America’s Election HQ, anchored by Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly, at 10PM/ET on Thursday, July 21st with 9.7 million viewers.
Additionally, in the month of September, Hannity topped all other cable news programs in the 25-54 demo with 525,000 viewers. Also, in his first month as host, On the Record with Brit Hume was up 12% in total viewers with 2.1 million and up 22% in the key demo compared to the same period last year. Hume took over for Greta Van Susteren on September 6th.
RATINGS FOR THE TOP FIVE PROGRAMS IN CABLE NEWS:
Total Viewers: The O’Reilly Factor (3,194,000); The Kelly File (2,935,000); Hannity (2,455,000); Special Report with Bret Baier (2,390,000); The Five (2,359,000)
Adults 25-54: The Kelly File (569,000); Hannity (564,000); The O’Reilly Factor (550,000); Special Report with Bret Baier (392,000); Anderson Cooper 360 (384,000).
3Q’16 VS. 3Q’15 NIELSEN NUMBERS (7 day week, L+SD):
FNC: 1,410,000 total viewers – up 29% (276,000 in 25-54 – up 31%)
CNN: 787,000 total viewers – up 61% (240,000 in 25-54 – up 68%)
MSNBC: 676,000 total viewers – up 80% (168,000 in 25-54 – up 83%)
FNC: 2,437,000 total viewers – up 25% (459,000 in 25-54 – up 16%)
CNN: 1,216,000 total viewers – up 49% (399,000 in 25-54 – up 59%)
MSNBC: 1,224,000 total viewers – up 96% (297,000 in 25-54 – up 112%)
FNC: 2,315,000 total viewers – up 25% (426,000 in 25-54 – up 19%)
CNN: 1,161,000 total viewers – up 52% (373,000 in 25-54 – up 60%)
MSNBC: 1,166,000 total viewers – up 87% (279,000 in 25-54 – up 105%)
FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to delivering breaking news as well as political and business news. A top five cable network, FNC has been the most-watched news channel in the country for more than 14 years and according to a Suffolk University/USA Today poll, is the most trusted television news source in the country. Owned by 21st Century Fox, FNC is available in more than 90 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top ten programs in the genre.