Fox News registered the highest-rated quarter in cable news history while beating all basic cable channels including ESPN and TBS, according to Nielsen Research.
In the unpredictable and controversial months of January, February and March leading up to and following President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE's inauguration, Fox News averaged 1.7 million total viewers and 359,000 viewers in the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers covet most in total day, or the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 a.m ET.
Those are the highest numbers ever to be delivered by any cable network.
In prime time, Fox News had its second-highest-rated quarter in its 20-year history with 2.8 million total viewers and 576,000 viewers in the demographic. Overall, Fox placed 13 programs in the top 15 in cable news, with "The O'Reilly Factor" at 3.98 million, "Tucker Carlson Tonight" at 3.27 million and "The Five" at 3.03 million taking the top three spots in total viewers.
MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" and "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" took the non-Fox spots in the top 15, with Maddow finishing seventh and O'Donnell placing 11th.
CNN also announced that it enjoyed its most-watched quarter since 2003, averaging 826,000 total viewers and 266,000 in the demographic in total day.
Cable news ratings in past nonelection years following presidential contests have shown precipitous drops. But the stunning election of Trump and the political theater and controversy since the inauguration has kept interest at an even higher level than during the primary campaign season of 2016.