It was a very good week for the 21st Century Fox owned cable news network last week. For the first time in a year and hence the first time this year, Fox News Channel was the most watched channel on cable in primetime. FNC had 1.934 million viewers on average between 8 PM and 11 PM during the March 2 – 8 frame. That’s 9% ahead of the number #2 ranker of TBS, which had 1.767 million. The top five were rounded out by The Walking Dead broadcaster AMC (1.745 million), USA (1.742 million) and Discovery (1.524 million).
As a comparison, rivals CNN were 32nd in primetime on cable for the week with 492,000 viewers on average. MSNBC was a bit ahead at 28th with an average of 534,000 over the week. That’s 74% and 72% down respectively from what FNC pulled in.
Despite controversies swirling around FNC big man Bill O’Reilly, his Factor was up double digits from the same week last year. With 3.019 million viewers on average last week for his 8 PM slotted show, O’Reilly was up 12% in total viewers over the week of March 3, 2014. Among the news demo of Adults 25-54, Big Bill surged 26% from an average of 402,000 last year to 508,000 viewers last week.
Back to the network overall – the last time FNC took the top cable spot in primetime viewership was the week of March 10, 2014 when crisis in the Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and Obamacare dominated the news cycles. FNC was down a slight 5% from the 2.049 million they averaged that week in between 8 PM and 11 PM. FNC also saw its highest rated week of 2015 in total day with viewership of 1.172 million. Like last week, the cable news network was in third place for total day viewership. Nickelodeon was first, Adult Swim was second with Cartoon Network and USA coming in fourth and fifth.