Fox News Channel is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a win—easily defeating its cable news competition in third quarter ratings compiled by Nielsen, with an average prime time audience of 2.372 million viewers, well ahead of MSNBC (1.267 million viewers) and CNN (822,000 viewers). All three networks were down year-over-year, with Fox News dropping 32% in prime—the smallest decline overall, compared to MSNBC (down 40%) and CNN (down 46%).
Among viewers 25-54, the key demographic valued by advertisers, Fox News finished first with an average prime time audience of 377,000 viewers (down 37% from the same quarter one year ago), followed by CNN (188,000 viewers, but down the most of the cable news networks—52%) and MSNBC (151,000 viewers, down 51%).
The highest-rated shows on cable news for the third quarter were FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight (3.242 million viewers), The Five (2.976 million viewers), Hannity (2.936 million viewers), and The Ingraham Angle (2.348 million viewers) and MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (2.204 million viewers).
In the key demo, Tucker Carlson Tonight finished first overall with an average audience of 549,000 viewers, followed by Hannity (478,000 viewers), The Five (434,000 viewers), The Ingraham Angle (400,000 viewers) and Special Report with Bret Baier (335,000 viewers)—all on Fox News.
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For Fox News, the third quarter win marks 79 straight quarters as the most-watched network in cable news among total viewers, and the seventh quarter in a row FNC was the number one network in all of basic cable.