Fox News Channel topped all of basic cable in total day in total viewers again in May, marking the first time the cable news network has topped the basic cable ratings chart three months in a calendar year, and this year is only five months old. FNC led basic cable for two months of the full calendar year during the Iraq War.
In primetime, FNC ranked No. 3 among basic cable networks, Behind NBA playoff-fueled TBS and ESPN.
CNN noted it has bested MSNBC for 23 consecutive months in total day in both overall audience and in the news demo. In primetime, CNN also has outstripped MSNBC for 23 consecutive months in the news demo and for six consecutive in total viewers.
MSNBC, meanwhile, pointed out it delivered the highest percentage of total-day growth in cable news for the month – 61% in total viewers and 49% in the news demo. Except MSNBC did even better, percentage-wise, in primetime: up 78% among overall audience and 66% in the news demo. And, MSNBC posted the smallest primetime news-demo gap between it and CNN in nearly a year.
On the other hand, MSNBC still lags FNC, and CNN in actual ratings.
In total day: FNC clocked 1.17M total viewers (+19%) and 216K news-demo viewers (+11%), CNN scored 584K total viewers (+33%) and 173K viewers in the demo (+20%), and MSNBC logged 481K total viewers (+66%) and 124K news-demo viewers (+49%)
In primetime: FNC averaged 2M total viewers (+26%) and 367K news-demo viewers (+17%), CNN bagged 891K viewers (+55%) and 288K news-demo viewers (+33%), and MSNBC snared 824K viewers (+78%) and 207K news-demo viewers (+66%).