Cable Ratings: Fox News Tops HGTV, Nickelodeon to Win February

Fox News is most watched network on basic cable for eighth consecutive month

Fox News Channel was the most-watched network among all of cable during February, marking the network’s eighth consecutive month finishing with the most total viewers.

Fox News averaged 1.75 million viewers total viewers, compared to 1.15 million for second-place Nickelodeon. HGTV, CNN and Adult Swim round out the top five, while cable news rival MSNBC finished sixth.

Among prime time, Fox News finished No. 1 by averaging 2.9 million viewers from 8-11 p.m. HGTV finished second with an average of 1.6 million primetime viewers, while USA, MSNBC and TNT round out the top five. CNN finished No. 11, averaging 1.18 million primetime viewers while MSNBC averaged 1.42 million.

Fox News gained 31 percent during prime time compared to February last year to beat rivals CNN and MSNBC combined. However, MSNBC saw the biggest increase, growing 52 percent compared to last year. MSNBC is the fastest-growing cable network among all cable in weekday prime, while CNN dropped 18 percent over the same time period.

Fox news had the six most-watched shows among cable news, with “The O’Reilly Factor” leading the way, averaging 4.18 million viewers per night. “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Five,” Special Report with Bret Baier” and “Hannity” make up the top five, while MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” finished seventh as the most-watched non-FNC show, averaging 2.23 million viewers. CNN’s most-watched show among total viewers was “Anderson Cooper 360,” which finished No. 20 among cable news, averaging 1.39 million viewers.

Maddow delivered MSNBC’s and the show’s biggest total viewer audience ever in the 9 p.m. ET time period and has topped CNN for 45 consecutive months.

Among the key news demo of adults age 25-54, Fox News still has the top five programs, but Maddow finished No. 6 and Cooper finished No. 8 overall. Maddow had her highest demo viewership in the time period since November 2012.

Fox News’ sister station, Fox Business Network, is gaining steam itself. FBN beat rival CNBC for a record fifth consecutive month in business day viewers. February marked FBN’s second highest rated month in total day viewers, topping CNBC in the category for only the third time ever.