Fox News beats CNN, MSNBC combined in Feb. ratings

Fox News beats CNN, MSNBC combined in Feb. ratings
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Fox News topped all other basic cable networks in total viewers for the eighth consecutive month, according to Nielsen Research. 

In February, Fox earned the top spot by averaging 1.75 million total viewers throughout the broadcast day, compared to 1.15 million for Nickelodeon and 902,000 for Home and Garden Television (HGTV). 

In primetime, Fox averaged 2.9 million viewers, a 31 percent increase from February of 2016. 

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The 21st Century-owned cable news network was also up 39 percent in the key 25-54 demographic that advertisers covet most, with 592,000 total viewers. In total viewers and the key demographic, Fox beat MSNBC and CNN in both categories combined. 

Leading the way as the most-watched show in cable was "The O'Reilly Factor," which airs weeknights at 8 p.m. ET. "Tucker Carlson Tonight" was second in cable news and the fifth highest-rated program overall in cable. 

Compared to Megyn Kelly's performance as host of "The Kelly File" in February of 2016, Carlson is up 31 percent in total viewers with 3.28 million and is up 55 percent in the key demographic with 695,000 viewers. 

Overall, Fox News had 13 of the top 15 programs in cable news. 

MSNBC's "The Rachael Maddow Show" and "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" were the only non-Fox programs to break the top 15, finishing seventh and 13th, respectively. 

February 2017 was the network's 182nd consecutive month as the most-watched cable news channel in total viewers. It was also the network’s highest rated month since November 2016.