Fox News Channel’s strategy has paid off in a big way. After dominating its cable news competitors CNN and MSNBC in ratings for the past several years, 2018 was no exception.
Fox just announced that, for the third consecutive year in a row, the network reigned as the most-watched cable network in both primetime and total day viewers while also achieving its highest ratings for primetime ever.
According to a press release from Fox News Channel (FNC), the network also touted the fact that popular primetime host Sean Hannity had the number one program in all of cable news for the second consecutive year.
Furthermore, they also heralded the fact that FNC’s dominance extended past the realm of cable TV to the digital news and social media space as well.
Dominating all of cable TV
Fox News’ CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace released a joint statement on the good news: “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,” they added in the statement.
The incredible news for the network was derived from Nielsen Media Research cable TV ratings as well as data analytics firms with regard to the network’s performance in the digital sphere and on social media.
Primetime, daytime and weekend dominance
In all of cable news, Fox had ten of the top 15 programs overall and eight of the top 15 programs in the all-important advertising demographic of adults aged 25-54. Fox even dominated among the younger demographic of adults aged 18-49, among whom three of Fox’s primetime programs — Hannity, The Ingraham Angle and Tucker Carlson Tonight — ranked in the top four.
The remainder of Fox’s evening lineup — The Five, Special Report with Bret Baier, The Story with Martha MacCallum and Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream — also ranked rather well in comparison to their cable news rivals with all of those programs bringing in total views ranging from 1.5 million to 2.4 million.
Of the big three primetime programs, Hannity earned an average of 3.3 million total viewers per night while Carlson averaged 2.8 million and Ingraham enjoyed an average of 2.6 million viewers.
It must also be noted that many of Fox’s daytime programs — from “Fox & Friends” in the early morning to “Your World with Neil Cavuto” in the late afternoon, and all programs in between — all drew substantial amounts of viewers and beat out their cable news competitors.
Incredibly, Fox’s dominance also extended to the weekends as well, most notably by the fact that Saturday night programs “The Greg Gutfeld Show” and “Watters World” each drew more total viewers and key demographic viewers than the competing programs in those time slots on CNN and MSNBC combined.
Digital and social media
But the dominance didn’t end there, as FNC also achieved unprecedented numbers in 2018 in the digital realm in terms of unique visitors, total page views, media initiatives and total time spent on a page. In fact, both page views and unique visits were up double digits percentage-wise over 2017.
On top of that, Fox also dominated the social media platforms over their rivals, generating roughly twice as many interactions as CNN received to become the most engaged news brand on social media.
Fox News catches a lot of heat from their cable news rivals, the broadcast networks and the mainstream media at large — not to mention liberals and leftists more generally — and have even been targeted with boycott efforts and smear campaigns designed to destroy individual hosts and the network as a whole.
Yet, despite all that has been thrown at it — as well as mistakes made of their own accord — the network nevertheless has retained its position atop its competitors and has continued to be the best network on cable TV, not just among cable news but among all cable networks total.