Strong State of the Union ratings and a busy news week were very good to Fox News Channel last week. For the first time since the week of the Boston Marathon bombing last April, the channel was No. 1 in cable among primetime viewers. For the week of January 27-February 2, Fox News averaged 2.265 million viewers in prime with a 1.8 household rating. With the exception of some election coverage weeks, this is only the second time Fox News has come in the top spot since 2005. Typically first-place USA Network was No. 2 among ad-supported cable networks last week with 2.214 million viewers, while ESPN was in the third spot with 2.078 million. History was fourth with 2.022 million and TBS was in fifth place with 1.837 million viewers over the week. Last week also marked the best result FNC has seen since it revamped its primetime lineup for the first time in years and added The Kelly File on October 7 last year.
Despite lower viewership of the SOTU overall, Fox News’ coverage of President Obama’s speech before Congress on January 28 ranked as the fifth-most-watched show on cable last week. A&E’s Duck Dynasty was No. 1, with WWE on USA in the second and third spot and college basketball on ESPN in at No. 4.
Things were not so top notch for FNC’s cable news rivals last week. CNN was 29th in primetime among cable channels, while MSNBC came in 21st. In total day, Fox News was fourth with an average of 1.237 million viewers, its best result since May 5, 2013. It finished behind No. 1 Nickelodeon, USA and Adult Swim.