Fox News Channel averaged more viewers in this year’s third quarter than both its cable news competitors put together but the network took some hits in a key demo. FNC averaged 1.14 million in total day viewers over the quarter. That’s a 7% rise from the same quarter last year but FNC was down 4% among Adults 25-54 with 268,000 viewers in the demo. Over the seven-day week MSNBC had 515,000 averaged total day viewers, a 20% rise for the network from the same quarter last year. MSNBC was also up double digits among the demo. It got 175,000 in the 25-54, a 17% rise from the last year’s Q3. In third place, CNN had 388,000 total day viewers. That’s down 18% from last year and, with 188,000 in the demo, down a harsh 25% among the 25-54. This quarter, which ran from June 25 to September 30, saw Olympic coverage on MSNBC during the London Games as well as all three cables news channels devoting considerable air time to the Presidential race, especially the Democratic and GOP conventions.
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Fox News came in third among all basic cable channels in this quarter in primetime. USA Network and TNT were first and second. MSNBC was 19th and CNN came in at 32nd among basic cable channels. With The O’Reilly Factor on top among total viewers for the 50th consecutive quarter, FNC had the entire top five cable news shows in Q3 in total viewers and among the 25-54 demo.
In primetime the rankings stayed the same among the new channels but the numbers reflected larger shifts. Fox had 1.99 million viewers in primetime in this year’s third quarter. That was a 6% rise over last year but FNC slid 11% among the 25-54 demo from Q3 2011. MSNBC came in second in seven-day primetime but they saw big jumps in both total viewers and in the demo. Up 24% in primetime total viewers, MSNBC were also up 22% among the 25-54. The same could not be said for CNN who was down 9% among primetime total viewers to 616,000 on average. The channel also stumbled 15% from last year’s Q3 in the 25-54 demo, averaging 188,000.