Hannity Most-Watched Cable News Program In Third Quarter, Maddow Places Second

Hannity's 9 PM time slot experienced double-digit growth compared to last year.

The numbers are in for the third quarter and Fox News was once again the top-rated cable news network as it celebrated its 67th straight quarter atop the cable news heap. FNC also boasted the most-watched program in cable news as Hannity led across the board.

According to Nielsen, Fox News averaged 1.401 million total viewers and 270,000 in the key 25-54 demographic in total day (Monday – Sunday). MSNBC pulled in 1.042 million viewers overall and 195,000 in the demo. CNN attracted a total audience of 722,000 and 213,000 in the demographic.

During the 8 PM to 11 PM primetime hours (Monday – Sunday), Fox dominated with 2.457 million total viewers and 450,000 in the key demo. FNC was also the only network to experience year-over-year growth in both total viewership and the demographic. MSNBC drew 1.859 million viewers overall and 346,000 in the demo. CNN captured a demo audience of 334,000 and 1.028 million total viewers.

Hannity easily led the way for the quarter as the top-rated cable news show, finishing first in both total viewership (3.340 million) and the key demo (625,000). Hannity’s time slot increased by 42 percent among total viewers and 29 percent in the 25-54 demo compared to last year’s third quarter. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show took second place in the demo (573,000) and overall viewers (2.947 million).

Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight came in third in both metrics, nabbing 2.775 million viewers overall and 539,000 in the demographic. FNC’s The Ingraham Angle placed fourth in the demographic (501,000) and total audience (2.672 million). MSNBC’s The Last Word rounded out the top five by averaging 418,000 in the demo and 2.307 million total viewers.

Over on MSNBC, morning staple Morning Joe enjoyed its best-ever quarter as it averaged 1.12 million total viewers and 225,000 in the key demo. Morning Joe was also the only morning cable news show to enjoy year-to-year growth, as it was up nine percent over third quarter 2017.

CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, which debuted earlier this year, led the network in both demo viewers (419,000) and total audience (1.274 million). Cuomo was up compared to last year’s 9 PM CNN programming, experiencing nine percent growth in total viewers and three percent in the demo. The program also gave CNN its highest 9 PM ratings in 13 years.

For the business networks, Fox Business enjoyed its eighth consecutive quarterly victory over CNBC in total viewership. FBN averaged 201,000 total viewers and 23,000 in the demo during business day compared to CNBC’s 157,000 viewers overall and 26,000 in the demographic. In total day, Fox Business attracted a total audience of 143,000 and 18,000 demo viewers. CNBS grabbed 38,000 demo viewers and 135,000 viewers overall.

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Justin Baragona is the founder and publisher of Contemptor. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.
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