Examining Cable News Ratings

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In April, Fox News posted the highest prime time ratings of the cable networks.  Fox said total viewership was up 28% over last year in prime time, including a 42% year-over-year increase in the target demographic.

The target demographic or “demo” are the 25-54 age viewers prized by advertisers.

The third week in May showed a big shift.  For the 1st time in 17 years, Fox News came in 3rd in the Prime Time Demo ratings and, for the first time ever, MSNBC was No. 1 in that coveted spot.

As exciting as this may be for Maddow &c., they can’t rest on any laurels just yet.  For one thing, FOX has been undergoing a major shakeup with the firing of ratings king Bill O’Reilly.  People may just be trying out other shows before choosing who they prefer now that O’Reilly is gone.  For another, MSNBC has not nailed down the top spot; they’ve just hit 8 out of 21 during the past week.

Ratings review for Monday, May 15 through Sunday, May 21, 2017 
#1 total viewership all day: FOX = 4 days, CNN = 3 days.
#1 prime time demo viewers: MSNBC = 3 days, CNN = 3 days, FOX = 1 day.
#1 total viewers prime time:  MSNBC = 5 days, FOX = 2 days.

Sources:

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