Entertainment, Health and Lifestyle

Fox News Holds ‘Most-Watched’ Title More Than 16 years straight

FOX News Channel (FNC), which will celebrate its 22nd anniversary this weekend, marked 67 consecutive quarters (16.75 years) as the most-watched cable news network in total viewers for total day viewing and primetime, according to Nielsen Media Research. Americans also feel that Fox News Channel is the most-trusted and most-objective brand in the industry, according to two surveys.

“Fox News apparently isn’t sick of winning. It’s an honor to be a part of a network that consistently wins every hour of every day,” said Fox News host Jesse Watters of Watters World (Saturdays 8 PM/ET). “With all this success, we’re still hungry. Every show has an underdog mentality, which makes us scrappy and highly competitive.”

Jesse holds the highest rated program in his timeslot with 1,744,000 total viewers and 286,000 in the demo. The program easily bested its timeslot competition in both categories, beating MSNBC and CNN combined in total viewers. Watters World has a double and triple-digit advantage over both networks.

“The Five has the most honest and entertaining personalities together in cable, and the ratings reflect that energy,” Watters added. “Watters World kicks off a tremendous Saturday night prime-time lineup and I’m grateful to the viewers who put us #1 in our time slot. After 22 years, Fox News remains fair, fearless and fun…which is why America puts us first.”

FNC continued its domination across the board as the cable champion was also the top-rated network in the prized 25-54 demo. Hannity was also the number one program in both total viewers and demo for the quarter, also marking his second highest-rated quarter in total viewers since returning to the 9 PM/ET timeslot.

During 3Q’18, FNC averaged 1,401,000 million total viewers and 270,000 with A25-54 in total day. In primetime, FNC delivered 2,457,000 total viewers and 450,000 in the 25-54 demographic, the only network up in both P2+ (up 14%) and the demo (up 3%). FNC also bested MSNBC and CNN in both primetime and total day with P2+ and A25-54.

Additionally, the network claimed 9 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers and seven of the top 15 in the 25-54 demo. FNC’s evening and primetime programs were among the top four shows in total viewers including,  Hannity (9 PM/ET) as the most-watched program in all of cable news with 3,338,000 in total viewers and in the 25-54 demo with 625,000. Hannity’s timeslot increased by double-digits, 42% among total viewers and 29% in the 25-54 demo, compared to 3Q’17. Additionally, Hannity was the top-rated program, only behind sports and special coverage of the Kavanaugh hearings, for regularly scheduled basic cable programming. Tucker Carlson Tonight also ranked first in its timeslot with 2,775,000 in total viewers and 539,000 in the 25-54 demo. The Ingraham Angle also boasted 2,672,000 in total viewers and 501,000 in the 25-54 demo, marking its highest-rated quarter ever with total viewers.

Kicking off the day at 4 AM/ET, FOX & Friends First with Heather Childers was the number one show in its timeslot with 488,000 in P2+, followed by FOX & Friends First at 5 AM/ET, which averaged 625,000 in viewers. FNC’s signature morning show FOX & Friends (6-9AM/ET) marked 203 consecutive months as the most-watched morning show in cable news with 1,453,000 in total viewers and 304,000 in the demo. America’s Newsroom with co-anchors Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith (9AM-12PM/ET) garnered 1,561,000 with P2+ and 282,000 with A25-54. FNC’s afternoon ensemble program, Outnumbered (12 PM/ET), posted 1,557,000 in total viewers and 270,000 in the demo. At 1 PM/ET, Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner averaged 1,442,000 in total viewers and 263,000 in the 25-54 demographic. The Daily Briefing at 2 PM/ET delivered 1,429,000 in total viewers and 256,000 with A25-54. At 3 PM/ET, Shepard Smith Reporting averaged 1,320,000 in total viewers and 243,000 in the demo. At 4 PM/ET, Your World with Neil Cavuto posted 1,464,000 with P2+ and 262,000 viewers with A25-54.

Among FNC’s evening and primetime programming, The Five (5 PM/ET) averaged 2,304,000 in total viewers and 408,000 in the 25-54 demo. At 6 PM/ET, Special Report with Bret Baier garnered 2,172,000 in total viewers and 395,000 in the 25-54 demo. The Story with Martha MacCallum at 7 PM/ET delivered 2,019,000 in total viewers and 399,000 in the younger 25-54 demo. At 11 PM/ET, FOX News @ Night with Shannon Bream averaged 1,534,000 in total viewers and 329,000 in the 25-54 demo.

During the weekends, Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo averaged 1.4 million in total viewers and 264,000 in the demo on Sundays at 10 AM/ET. MediaBuzz hosted by Howie Kurtz delivered 1.3 million in total viewers and 232,000 in the 25-54 demo, propelling him to the lead spot on Sundays at 11 AM/ET. Additionally, FNC wins all Saturday primetime hours in total viewers, including Watters World (8PM/ET), Justice with Judge Pirro (9PM/ET), The Greg Gutfeld Show (10PM/ET) and The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton and Life, Liberty and Levin on Sundays at 9PM/ET and 10PM/ET, respectively.

Additionally, for the quarter, FOX News Digital delivered its highest quarter of page views, with 6.5 billion views, marking a 16 percent increase versus prior year, according to data from Adobe Analytics. The FNC mobile app also had its highest quarter of uniques, with 9.7 million unique devices. Additionally, Fox News was the number one most engaged news brand on social media on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram combined, according to Socialbakers. 


  • Total Viewers: Hannity (3,340,000), The Rachel Maddow Show (2,947,000), Tucker Carlson Tonight (2,775,000), The Ingraham Angle (2,672,000), Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (2,307,000)
  • Adults 25-54: Hannity (625,000), The Rachel Maddow Show (573,000), Tucker Carlson Tonight (539,000), The Ingraham Angle (501,000), Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (418,000) 

3Q’18 VS. 3Q’17 NIELSEN NUMBERS (seven day week, L+SD): 


  1. FNC: 1,401,000 total viewers – up 3% (270,000 in 25-54 – down 9%)
  2. CNN: 722,000 total viewers – down 9% (213,000 in 25-54 – down 19%)
  3. MSNBC: 1,042,000 total viewers – up 10% (195,000 in 25-54 – down 9%)


  1. FNC: 2,457,000 total viewers – up 14% (450,000 in 25-54 – up 3%)
  2. CNN: 1,028,000 total viewers – down 5% (334,000 in 25-54 – down 12%)
  3. MSNBC: 1,859,000 total viewers – up 6% (346,000 in 25-54 – down 10%)

FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking news as well as political and business news.  The number one network in cable, FNC has been the most watched television news channel for more than 16 years.  According to a 2018 Research Intelligencer study by Brand Keys, FOX News ranks as the second most trusted television brand in the country.  Additionally, a Suffolk University/USA Today survey states FOX News is the most trusted source for television news or commentary in the country, while a 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation survey found that among Americans who could name an objective news source, FOX News is the top-cited outlet.

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Hanna Heller

Hanna is the entertainment and lifestyle editor for CDN. Fan of great movies, legendary music, outdoor activities and cool stuff in general, her opinions, as expressed in her articles, are her own and not necessarily shared by anyone .. anywhere .. ever. Follow Hanna on Twitter: @Hanna_CDN

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