During the first unofficial week of the 2016 primaries, in which Hillary Clinton and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida jumped into the race with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (and Mike Huckabee made an announcement about an announcement), Fox News Channel bagged the biggest primetime audience in all of cable. It’s the third time this year FNC has logged the largest crowd; most recently it happened the week of March 9.
FNC clocked 1.69 million viewers last week, besting USA’s 1.57 million, TBS’ 1.54 million, Discovery’s 1.45 mil and TNT’s 1.40 mil. FNC also clobbered CNN, which ranked No. 27 in primetime with overall audience (523,000), and MSNBC No. 30 with an average of 516,000 viewers aged 2 and up.
But HBO’s Game Of Thrones was the week’s most watched cable primetime program, averaging 6.805 million Live + Same Day viewers. It was followed by a melange of USA’s WWE and TNT’s NBA, dominating the lower to upper 3 mil audience range. Discovery Channel’s most watched primetime series, Deadliest Catch, broke up that tango, at No. 9, with its average audience of 3.218 mil.
FNC’s Thursday The O’Reilly Factor was its most watched primetime show of the week, averaging 2.826 million viewers. Bill O’Reilly accounted for FNC’s four most watched programs, with Megyn Kelly’s Thursday edition of The Kelly File rounding out the network’s Top 5, with its audience of 2.524 million.
Speaking of Discovery Channel, it ranked No. 1 in the 25-54 age bracket, aka “news demo,” for the week, with an average of 802,000 primetime viewers; FNC ranked No. 19 among cable nets in primetime with an average of 317,000, well ahead of No. 33-ranked CNN (199,000) and No. 46 MSNBC (124,000).