In Depth

Fox, MSNBC Lead Final Days of Campaign

The closing days of the long presidential campaign made Fox News Channel the most-watched of all basic cable channels during prime time the week of Oct. 27.

Also riding the political wave: MSNBC, whose prime-time lineup got a particularly healthy boost from Barack Obama’s half-hour campaign infomercial, which last week ranked No. 5 in all of basic cable last week, consigning CNN to sixth place.

Fox averaged 3.11 million total viewers in prime time, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. For FNC, it was the 10th week in a row it was among the three most-watched basic-cable channels.

MSNBC, which historically has been the third-place cable news channel, averaged 2.11 million viewers in prime time. CNN, which has been increasingly fending off MSNBC’s assault in prime time since late summer, averaged 1.77 million total viewers.

For total-day, Fox ranked No. 3 among all basic-cable channels, averaging 1.49 million total viewers, while CNN ranked eighth with 992,000 viewers and MSNBC ranked 10th with 872,000 viewers.