Continuing its record-breaking ratings streak, FOX News Channel (FNC) finished the first quarter of 2017 with the highest-rated quarter ever in cable news history in 24-hour viewership, and once again topped cable in both primetime and total day according to Nielsen Media Research. Each hour during the 6AM-11PM/ET program lineup broke a network record with the highest-rated hours ever for a quarter with millennials tuning in to FOX News more than any other cable news outlet. Furthermore, The O’Reilly Factor not only had its highest-rated quarter ever in history, but it broke all previous records in cable news history for the highest-viewership ever for any given program in a quarter.
FNC completed 1Q’17 as the top basic cable network in both primetime and total day and marked 61 quarters as the top news network in primetime and total day, according to Nielsen. In both dayparts during 1Q’17, FNC was up double-digits compared to the same quarter last year, which included two of the network’s highly-viewed Republican presidential primary debates. Additionally, more millennials chose FNC as their leading cable news source over CNN and MSNBC in both primetime and total day than ever before (see below for Nielsen data).
Delivering its most-watched quarter ever in total day viewers, FNC averaged 1.7 million viewers (up 27%) and 359,000 (up 32%) in the 25-54 demo. In primetime, FNC marked its second highest-rated quarter with 2.8 million total viewers (up 20%) and 576,000 (up 19%) in the 25-54 demo. For the quarter, FNC dominated cable news competition in both primetime and total day combined in total viewers.
This quarter, FNC claimed 13 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers and eight out of the top 10 in the 25-54 demo. Additionally, all FNC programs were up double-digits in both viewers and demo compared to the same quarter last year.
Among FNC programs, the network’s signature morning program FOX & Friends (6-9AM/ET) delivered its highest-rated quarter in history in P2+ with 1.6 million viewers (up 41%) and 376,000 (up 42%) viewers in the 25-54 demo. America’s Newsroom (9-11AM/ET), which also marked a network high during its timeslot, delivered 2.1 million viewers and 405,000 in the demo, topping CNN and MSNBC combined in P2+ and A25-54. Happening Now (11AM/ET and 1PM/ET, weekdays) garnered 1.8 million (up 26%) and 1.8 million (up 32%) viewers, respectively, marking their highest-rated quarters in P2+ in history. Shepard Smith Reporting (3PM/ET) notched the network’s most-watched quarter during that hour in total viewers with 1.8 million total viewers (up 23%) and 331,000 (up 45%) in A25-54. At 4PM/ET, Your World with Neil Cavuto had its highest-rated quarter in total viewers with 2 million viewers (up 26%). The Five delivered its most-watched quarter since program launch at 5PM/ET in both total viewers (3 million, up 29%) and the demo (522,000, up 44%), topping CNN and MSNBC combined in P2+ and A25-54.
Kicking off FNC’s evening programming, Special Report with Bret Baier delivered the network’s highest-rated quarter ever at 6PM/ET in total viewers with 3 million viewers (up 25%) and 533,000 in the demo (+38%), topping CNN and MSNBC combined in both categories. The First 100 Days, anchored by Martha MacCallum, delivered the most-watched quarter at 7PM/ET for the network with 2.7 million total viewers. The O’Reilly Factor (8PM/ET) marked its highest-rated quarter in network and cable news history, continuing its dominance as the #1 cable news program for 68 consecutive quarters with 4 million viewers (+17%) and 728,000 in the A25-54 demo (up 22%). At 9PM/ET, Tucker Carlson Tonight delivered the network’s highest-rated quarter for the 9PM/ET hour in total viewers with 3.3 million viewers and garnered 689,000 in the demo (up 40%). Hannity also delivered the network’s highest-rated quarter at 10PM/ET in total viewers with 2.9 million viewers and 668,000 in 25-54.
RATINGS FOR THE TOP FIVE PROGRAMS IN CABLE NEWS:
- Total Viewers: The O’Reilly Factor (3,982,000); Tucker Carlson Tonight (3,272,000); The Five (3,031,000); Special Report with Bret Baier (2,953,000); Hannity (2,871,000)
- Adults 25-54: The O’Reilly Factor (728,000); Tucker Carlson Tonight (689,000); Hannity (668,000); The First 100 Days (540,000); Special Report with Bret Baier (533,000).
1Q’17 VS. 1Q’16 NIELSEN NUMBERS (7 day week, L+SD):
FNC: 1,713,000 total viewers – up 27% (359,000 in 25-54 – up 32%) (65,000 in 18-34 – up 38%)
CNN: 823,000 total viewers – up 13% (265,000 in 25-54 – up 22%) (61,000 in 18-34 – up 5%)
MSNBC: 776,000 total viewers – up 55% (183,000 in 25-54 – up 40%) (37,000 in 18-34 – up 28%)
FNC: 2,844,000 total viewers – up 20% (576,000 in 25-54 – up 19%) (106,000 in 18-34 – up 1%)
CNN: 1,180,000 total viewers – down 17% (405,000 in 25-54 – down 11%) (101,000 in 18-34 – down 29%)
MSNBC: 1,434,000 total viewers – up 61% (337,000 in 25-54 – up 49%) (70,000 in 18-34 – up 37%)
FNC: 2,710,000 total viewers – up 20% (542,000 in 25-54 – up 22%)
CNN: 1,145,000 total viewers – down 11% (388,000 in 25-54 – down 5%)
MSNBC: 1,361,000 total viewers – up 57% (314,000 in 25-54 – up 49%)