This was posted Wednesday, March 29, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
The elevated interest in the presidency and the perpetual gusher of news Donald Trump creates fueled record ratings across the board for cable news networks in the first quarter no matter what their political leanings.
Here’s a quick summary:
Fox News had the best quarter of any cable news network in its 21-year history in all-day ratings, averaging 1.7 million viewers. It even beat ESPN in primetime. It has been the news cable leader for 15 years. Its prime-time 2.8 million average was its second best quarter ever.
MSNBC also garnered its best quarter in its 21-year history as well. The biggest show of the moment is Rachel Maddow, who has seen her ratings double over the past year. Only Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly is ahead of her. It grew a whopping 61 percent in prime-time audience year over year with an average of 1.4 million viewers.
CNN didn’t have its best quarter ever but pulled in its best first quarter in 14 years in all-day ratings since the Iraq War had begun. It ranked No. 10 in prime time, No. 6 in all day ratings among all basic cable networks. Its prime-time numbers (1.2 million) were down from the first quarter of 2016, which featured 12 prime-time live political events.