Fox News Having Highest-Rated Year Ever; Tops Cable Primetime So Far

Fox News Channel Ratings
Fox News Channel

Fox News Channel first hit the air on October 7, 1996, and this is looking like it might be the best birthday year yet for the cable news network.

With unprecedented interest in Presidential politics pumping up the numbers by double digits, the nearly 20-year old Fox News is currently in the No. 1 primetime spot for all of cable with 2.2 million viewers. For its most-watched year ever so far, that’s a jump from the No. 5 spot it held at this point in 2015. Now, all cable news nets see a rise in election years, but for Fox News the result is a little sweeter. The Roger Ailes-run channel is second in all of cable primetime for Q2 2016 behind the NBA playoffs-fueled TNT. The latter averaged 2.05 million viewers to FNC’s 1.97 million for the quarter.

That second spot marks a 23% total viewership gain from the same period last year. It also sees the again-dominant Fox News get a 17% rise in the 25-54 demo (352,000) compared with Q2 2015. In overall prime viewership, Fox News was in third place.

While CNN and MSNBC saw primetime viewership growth of 71% and 72%, respectively, from Q2 2015, the two combined could not match FNC’s result. The Time Warner-owned cabler newer was 1oth in basic cable primetime in the quarter, while the Comcast-owned outlet was No. 14. For total day, FNC was No. 2, CNN was No. 11 and MSNC was No. 16.

Continuing a winning streak spanning 58 quarters in a row among the cable newers, Fox News also had the nine most-viewed shows and the top 5 highest rated for June. Per the election cycle, all saw double-digit growth, with Hannity getting the biggest jump (+41% in viewers and +35 in the 25-54 demo).

Check out the victor’s top 5 spoils and more in both categories here:

Top 5 Q2 2016 Cable News Viewership
1. The O’Reilly Factor (2,929,000)
2. The Kelly File (2,409,000);
3.  Special Report With Bret Baier (1,998,000)
4. Hannity (1,950,000)
5. The Five (1,950,000)

Top 5 Q2 2016 Cable News Demo
1. The O’Reilly Factor (464,000)
2. The Kelly File (434,000)
3. Hannity (427,000)
4. The O’Reilly Factor Repeat (320,000)
5. Special Report With Bret Baier (309,000).

Also, there was more good news for the Ailes regime, with Fox Business Network seeing close to 100% growth in total day to ranks as the fastest-growing outlet in cable news. With a strong jump-start from the revamped Varney & Co in the AM and Lou Dobbs Tonight in primetime, FBN was up 94% in total day viewership and 133% in prime. Add to that, FBN achieved it first primetime breaking business news win over rival CNBC with its June 23 special coverage of the UK EU referendum and the success of the Brexit vote.

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