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Cable News Ratings: Fox News Dominates Basic Cable, CNN Surges in Primetime

Fox News is No. 1 basic cable network in Q3 of 2015

Fox News continued its dominance in cable ratings during Q3 of 2015.

Fox news rose in the total day measure of total viewers by 4 percent during the quarter compared to the same time last year, but posted a modest two percent loss in the key adults 25-54 demographic, according to Nielsen.

The network also stood head and shoulders above their competition in the 8 p.m. – 11pm ET primetime hours, seeing a 10 percent rise in total viewers and a 28 percent rise in the key demo compared to Q3 in 2014.

This was due in part to the first GOP presidential debate on August 6, which drew 24 million total viewers and 7.9 million in the key demo, making it the most-watched non-sports cable telecast of all time.

Thanks to these numbers, Fox News was officially the top cable network for all of Q3, the first time the network has retained the top spot for an entire quarter.

CNN lagged behind Fox, but still posted gains across the board. The network was up 9 percent in total viewers and 7 percent in the key demo in the total day measure.

CNN was also up in primetime. The network rose an impressive 47 percent in total viewers and 36 percent in the key demo compared to 2014.

MSNBC brought up the rear. The struggling news network did see a 14 percent rise in total viewers in the total day measure, but was down five percent in the key demo.

MSNBC was likewise up in total viewers in primetime, rising 13 percent compared to 2014’s Q3. But the network was once again down in the key demo, dropping seven percent year-to-year.