By James Hibberd, Reuters
Fox News is on track to have its most-watched year ever, showing significant ratings growth despite having just come off a highflying election year.
With the second quarter coming to a close, Fox News averaged about the same number of viewers as the top three other cable news networks combined. And while rivals including CNN (down 22 percent) and MSNBC (down 18 percent) took hits following last quarter’s inauguration-fueled boost, Fox News (down 3 percent) remained nearly steady.
Compared with last year, the Fox News (averaging 2.1 million viewers, 509,000 adults aged 25-54 quarter-to-date) is up both 35 percent over last year in primetime viewers and 48 percent in the demo. CNN (805,000 viewers, 210,000 in the demo) fell both 16 percent in viewers and 29 percent in the demo. MSNBC (787,000 viewers, 259,000 in the demo) climbed 15 percent in viewers and was about on par in the demo. And CNN Headline News (553,000, 201,000) showed very strong growth, up 39 percent and 37 percent, respectively, and is on track for its best second quarter.
The new standings are strong enough to rank Fox News third behind USA and TNT among all ad-supported cable networks for the quarter among primetime total viewers. In its core demo, Fox News had eight of the top 10 cable news shows. It had similarly sunny increases for total day, while CNN and MSNBC were roughly on par with last year.