Fox News marked its highest-rated year in primetime in its 22-year history with 2.5 million total viewers and finished the year as the most-watched basic cable network for the third consecutive year in both primetime and total day (1.4 million) among total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.
For the second consecutive year, Hannity was the number one program in cable news with 3.3 million viewers. FNC was also the number one network in upscale cable rankings (income of $100K+) for Monday through Friday on a 24-hour basis in total viewers, as well as the 25-54 and 35-64 demos, and number two in the 18-49 demo, only slightly behind sports-focused ESPN.
In a joint statement on the network’s record ratings, FNC’s CEO Suzanne Scott and FNC’s President Jay Wallace said, “FOX News continues to outperform other basic cable networks, proving once again that our news coverage and premiere team of journalists and opinion hosts are the best in the business. With the recent launch of FOX Nation, an increased focus on digital and the strong ratings momentum we have built, we are confident that 2019 will offer our loyal viewers even more ways to engage with FOX News.”
In cable news, FNC secured 10 of the top 15 programs in total viewers, as well as eight of the top 15 spots among the 25-54 demo. Furthermore, FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity and The Ingraham Angle claimed three of the top four programs in the younger 18-49 demo. *Please see attached for the corresponding Nielsen program rankers for total viewers, the 25-54 demo, the 18-49 demo and all additional Nielsen ratings.
Kicking off FNC’s evening programming at 5PM/ET, The Five averaged 2.4 million total viewers and 425,000 in the 25-54 demo, ranking fifth in both categories. At 6PM/ET, the network’s political news program Special Report with Bret Baier averaged 2.3 million total viewers and 419,000 in the 25-54 demo and at 7PM/ET, The Story with Martha MacCallum delivered 2.1 million total viewers and 413,000 in the 25-54 demo. Tucker Carlson Tonight at 8PM/ET, was the third-most watched program for the year in total viewers with 2.8 million and 557,000 in the 25-54 demo. In primetime, for the second consecutive year, Hannity topped all of cable news with 3.3 million total viewers (up 17%) and 643,000 in the 25-54 demo (up 11%). At 10PM/ET, The Ingraham Angle ranked fourth in total viewers with 2.6 million (up 4%) and fourth in the 25-54 demo with 515,000. FOX News @ Night with Shannon Bream at 11PM/ET closed out the year with 1.5 million total viewers (up 5%) and 349,000 in the 25-54 demo.
The Fox & Friends franchise which starts at 4AM/ET with FOX & Friends First delivered 586,000 total viewers and 142,000 in the 25-54 demo while FOX & Friends (6-9 AM/ET) continued to pace in the top 15 programs with 1,529,000 total viewers and 329,000 in the 25-54 demo. America’s Newsroom, FNC’s three hour news program at 9AM/ET, secured 1,673,000 total viewers and 305,000 in the 25-54 demo. At noon, Outnumbered garnered 1,609,000 total viewers and 291,000 in the 25-54 demo. The second year of Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner delivered 1,480,000 total viewers and 286,000 with the 25-54 demo. Additionally, The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino secured 1,467,000 total viewers and 276,000 in the 25-54 demo while Shepard Smith Reporting garnered 1,409,000 total viewers and 269,000 with the 25-54 demo. Your World with Neil Cavuto garnered 1,509,000 total viewers and 278,000 in the 25-54 demo.
On the weekends, FNC continued to dominate CNN and MSNBC, beating them in every hour in total viewers on Saturdays and Sundays from 6AM to 11PM/ET. FNC even outperformed combined viewership of CNN and MSNBC in key timeslots like The Greg Gutfeld Show (Saturdays at 10PM/ET) which delivered 1.7 million total viewers and 305,000 in the 24-54 demo, and Watters World (Saturdays at 8PM/ET) which averaged 1.7 million total viewers and 291,000 in the 25-54 demo. Cavuto Live (Saturdays at 10AM/ET) and Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo (Sundays at 10AM/ET) also led the charge securing 1,539,000 and 1,497,000 total viewers and 294,000 and 301,000 in the 25-54 demo, respectively. At 11AM/ET, Media Buzz with Howie Kurtz came in at 1,348,000 total viewers and 267,000 in the 25-54 demo and The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton ended the year with 1,243,000 total viewers and 206,000 in the 25-54 demo. Finally, Sunday’s primetime slot of 10-11PM/ET of Life, Liberty and Levin with Mark Levin secured 1,283,000 total viewers and 216,000 in the 25-54 demo.
In addition to its record breaking ratings year, FNC dominated the digital space, reaching unprecedented numbers in uniques, page views, media initiatives and time spent, according to Adobe Analytics (January 2018 – November 2018). FOX News Digital page views increased by 10 percent and visits increased by 22 percent versus 2017. FOX News Digital, according to comScore, had its most successful year ever across major metrics. From April 2018 to August 2018, FOXNews.com surpassed CNN for the #1 in page views and from June 2018 to September 2018, the website surpassed both NYTimes.com and WashingtonPost.com for the #2 rankings in unique audiences. August 2018 was also a record month for FOX News Digital, with 98 million unique visitors, per comScore. On web and mobile, views and app usage both increased by 10 and 24 percent respectively.
Additionally, FNC won across social media, coming in as the number one most engaged news brand on social media, generating nearly twice as many interactions as the nearest news competitor, CNN. 2018 also marked FNC’s most engaging year on Instagram, increasing by 63 percent and on Facebook, FNC was #1 in live video views, representing 53 percent of all Facebook Live video views in the competitive set.