Fox News Ends 2018 as Most Watched Cable Network

Fox News is officially 2018's most watched cable network in primetime and total day, the network announced Wednesday based on Nielsen numbers.

Fox News averaged a network record 2.4 million total viewers in primetime during the period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 30, led by network news show Hannity, which averaged a cable news series-high 3.2 million viewers for the year.

FNC's win marks the third consecutive year the network has topped the primetime charts among total viewers, according to Nielsen.

ESPN finished second with 1.9 million viewers, followed MSNBC’s 1.8 million viewers and HGTV’s 1.3 million watchers, according to Nielsen.

USA Network and TBS tied for fifth with 1.2 million viewers, followed by TNT and Hallmark Channel (1.1 million viewers), and History and Investigation Discovery (1.0 million).

Fox News’ 1.4 million viewers on a 24-hour basis was tops for the industry for the third consecutive year, with MSNBC, Nickelodeon, ESPN and HGTV following behind the cable news network, according to Nielsen. 

R. Thomas Umstead

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.