Fox News Channel continued its ratings run, finishing 2018 as the most-watched network in all of cable for the third consecutive year among both primetime and total day viewers, according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research.
Fox News averaged 2.5 million primetime viewers, the most in its 22-year history.
The network beat former champ ESPN, which averaged 1.8 million primetime viewers by a large margin. MSNBC, HGTV and USA rounded out the top five while CNN finished No. 11 overall.
In the total day ratings, Fox News averaged 1.4 million viewers. MSNBC, Nickelodeon, HGTV and ESPN complete the top five. CNN, which averaged about half as many viewers as Fox, finished seventh among cable networks.
“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,” CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace said in a joint statement on the ratings release.
The top cable news show honors went to Hannity, which draws 3.3 million average viewers — a spot that for more than a decade was occupied by The O’Reilly Factor. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show finished second, followed by Fox News programs Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle, and The Five.