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Fox News Channel’s Sizzling Summer

Fox News Channel rode a record-setting ratings performance for its Aug. 6 Republican Presidential Debate to finish first in a hotly contested summer primetime ratings race, according to a Ratings Intelligence analysis of Nielsen live-plus-same-day data.

Fox News outlasted Disney Channel, USA Network and TNT to finish as the most-watched cable network in primetime during the period of June 1 to Aug. 30, per the Ratings Intelligence analysis.

Fox News’s GOP debate was easily the most watched show of the summer, averaging 25 million viewers (on a live-plus-seven-day basis), the biggest cable audience for a non-sports event ever.

Other summer programs of note: the Aug. 6 post-debate episode of Fox News’s The Kelly File, with 11 million viewers, and Disney Channel’s July 30 premiere of Descendants, with 12.2 million viewers (L+7 figures).

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.