Last weekend marked 20 years since Fox News Channel’s launch was announced, and CEO and Chairman Roger Ailes is probably quite pleased with the network’s anniversary numbers.
Fox News has now been the No. 1 cable news network for 14 consecutive years after winning the month of January with a dominating performance that included last week’s GOP debate. Fox News’ streak began in Jan. 2002 when it surpassed CNN for the first time.
Ailes’ network beat CNN and MSNBC combined in total day viewers and had the top 14 individual programs in cable news among the key 25-54 age demo. “The O’Reilly Factor” had its best month since November 2012 and finished as the No. 1 program in cable news, despite double-digit growth from “The Kelly File.”
ESPN and its football-heavy coverage was the only cable network more popular than Fox News for the month. Fox News averaged 2.12 million total viewers in primetime and 1.26 million in total day.
Meanwhile, the start of an election year seems to be positive for everybody.
CNN is up 40 percent in primetime viewers thanks to news specials including the “Guns in America Town Hall” and a Democratic town hall. CNN averaged 842,000 primetime viewers and 579,000 in total day.
MSNBC is touting the fact that it grew during January, up 31 percent in total day viewing and up 20 percent in the key demo, despite not having a debate during the month. MSNBC averaged 720,000 total viewers during primetime and 423,000 during the day.
Ailes’ other network wasn’t too shabby, either. Fox Business Network had its most-watched month ever among both total viewers and the demo. FBN’s big month was highlighted by the Jan. 14 GOP debate that drew 11 million total viewers. FBN ended 2015 as the fastest growing cable network on television and is off to a good start in 2016.