Fox News Channel (FNC) started 2018 with a dominating lead, according to Nielsen Media Research, which released its first quarter (1Q) report on Tuesday. January-March 2018 marked the 65th consecutive quarter with Fox at the top of cable news ratings.
In total viewers, “Hannity” took the gold, with 3.2 million. MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” took silver, with 2.99 million viewers, and FNC’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” had bronze, with 2.91 million. Two more Fox shows, “The Ingraham Angle” and “Special Report with Bret Baier” came in fourth and fifth, with 2.5 million and 2.4 million respectively.
Despite its dominant position, FNC lost some viewers between the first quarter of 2017 and 1Q 2018. In the most recent quarter, FNC took 1.45 million total viewers per day, down 16 percent since last year. Even so, CNN only had 713,000 viewers every day, a decrease of 13 percent. MSNBC enjoyed a ratings bump of 30 percent in total daily viewers — but it still only took 1 million, nearly a half million behind FNC.
Fox also dominated primetime, with 2.5 million total viewers each day (down 13 percent from last year). MSNBC took a distant second, with 1.9 million viewers (up 30 percent from last year), and CNN took third, with 985,000 viewers (down 17 percent from last year).
FNC also claimed 14 of the top 20 cable news programs in total viewers.
Fox listed the ratings for all of its shows besides the top four:
Kicking off the day, at 5AM/ET, FOX & Friends First averaged 666,000 in total viewers and 175,000 in the 25-54 demo. The network’s signature morning program, FOX & Friends (6-9AM/ET), delivered 1,533,000 in total viewers and 345,000 in the 25-54 demographic. At 9AM/ET, America’s Newsroomaveraged 1,751,000 with P2+ and 318,000 in the younger 25-54 demo. FNC’s afternoon ensemble program,Outnumbered (12PM/ET), garnered 1,642,000 in total viewers and 305,000 in the demo. At 1PM/ET, Outnumbered Overtime averaged 1,498,000 in total viewers and 305,000 in the 25-54 demographic. The Daily Briefing at 2PM/ET delivered 1,454,000 in total viewers and 291,000 with A25-54. At 3PM/ET, Shepard Smith Reporting delivered 1,437,000 in total viewers and 293,000 in the demo. At 4PM/ET, Your World with Neil Cavuto garnered 1,494,000 million with P2+ and 285,000 viewers with A25-54.
Among FNC’s evening and primetime programming, The Five (5PM/ET) averaged 2,343,000 in total viewers and delivered 431,000 in the 25-54 demo. At 6PM/ET, Special Report with Bret Baier delivered 2,361,000 in total viewers and 443,000 in the 25-54 demo. The Story with Martha MacCallum at 7PM/ET averaged 2,175,000 with P2+ and 439,000 in the younger 25-54 demo. At 8PM/ET, Tucker Carlson Tonight delivered 2,908,000 in total viewers and 586,000 in the demo. The Ingraham Angle at 10PM/ET garnered 2,487,000 in total viewers and 505,000 in the 25-54 demographic. At 9PM/ET, Hannity delivered 3,196,000 in total viewers and 662,000 in the 25-54 demo, topping all of cable news with P2+.
While Fox News kept the top spot on cable news in general, Fox Business Network (FBN) grew — gaining 13 percent more viewers than last year. FBN had six of the top seven business programs on cable, and the network beat rival CNBC.
FBN’s Business Day came out 19 percent ahead of CNBC’s quarterly performance, taking 239,000 total viewers compared to CNBC’s 201,000.
Fox News, as the cable news provider for conservative content, provides a powerful alternative to the many liberal outlets that try to press the Left-wing perspective. Until other networks realize the value of conservatism, Fox will remain the leader.