Fox News Channel led basic cable in both prime time and total day for the entire first quarter of 2016, a first in the network’s history.
Fox News beat all other cable networks for the full quarter, including ESPN, TBS, TNT and AMC.
FNC has now spent the past 10 consecutive weeks as the No. 1 cable channel in total day among all viewers. The impressive quarter is the network’s highest rated among total-day viewers in its nearly 20-year history. FNC averaged 1.35 million viewers, up 27 percent from the first quarter last year. FNC also finished up 30 percent in the key demographic of adults age 25-54.
During prime time, Fox News had its best quarter since 2012 with double-digit increases in both total viewers and the demo. FNC averaged 2.38 million prime-time viewers, which is up 38 percent from last year, but the demo is where the network really grew. FNC averaged 483,000 viewers between the ages of 25-54 during prime time, up a whopping 50 percent from last year.
If you’re keeping score, the success isn’t simply because of a few major political events. In the first quarter, CNN had 12 combined debates and town halls; MSNBC had one debate and five town halls. Fox News had two debates and one town hall.
CNN finished No. 6 in prime time and No. 11 in viewers, while MSNBC finished No. 16 in prime time and No. 19 in viewers.
ESPN, TBS, HGTV and USA join Fox News in the Top 5 prime-time cable networks among total viewers. Nickelodeon, Adult Swim, HGTV and ESPN join Fox News in the Top 5 among total day viewers.
Among individual programs, the network had the Top 14 cable news programs in total viewers and nine of the top 10 programs in the demo.
“The O’Reilly Factor,” “The Kelly File,” “Special Report with Bret Baier,” “The Five” and “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” make up the top five programs among total viewers. The demo’s top five looks similar, with “Hannity” joining the list and pushing “On the Record” to No. 7 overall. “MediaBuzz” also averaged its highest rated quarter in both categories.