Fox News Leads Cable News for 13th Straight Year

With one week left to make it official, Fox News Channel will run its skein atop the cable new sector to 13 years among total viewers and adults 25 to 54.

Through Dec. 21, the first 51 weeks of Nielsen’s 2014, Fox News has averaged 1.76 million watchers in primetime, including 302,000 in the aforementioned demo, according to Nielsen data. Compared to 2013, those deliveries were even and up 3%, respectively.

They also dwarfed those of CNN, MSNBC and HLN, beating the three of them combined in primetime audience.  MSNBC was second, averaging 590,000 watchers, down 8% from the comparable period in 2013, CNN third with 515,000 (off 9%) and HLN fourth with 335,000 (-15).

In the so-called news demo, all of the other players took hits: CNN dipped 1% to 181,000 of those watchers, while MSNBC shed 17% to 169,000 and HLN 16% to 117.000.

It was a similar tale in total day, Fox News beat the three others together among total viewers, albeit all of the players lost audience.   FNC averaged 1.05 million in the 24-hour measure, down 4%. CNN was second here with 399,000, 3% less than in 2013. MSNBC and HLN sustained 12%  and 13% erosion to 348,000 and 257,000, respectively.

On the demo watch, all four competitors declined: FNC and CNN were off 4% to 214,000 and 126,000. MSNBC was third here, losing 18% to 108,000, barely ahead of HLN’s 105,000, which declined 6% from the stage of 2013.

A further breakdown shows that FNC had the top 14 shows in audience and nine of the top 10 among the 25-to-54 set.

The O’Reilly Factor extended its run to 15 consecutive years in first place in its 8 p.m. timeslot among viewers and the demo and 13 years in a row atop all of cable news with those measures.

The Kelly File (pictured) was the only primetime show in cable to record gains in both viewers (10%) and the demo (6%), versus 2013.

The top five shows: in total viewers: The O’Reilly Factor--2.67 million; The Kelly File—2.22 million; The Five—2.06 million; Special Report w/ Bret Baier—1.99 million; and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren—1.75 million.

The leaders among adults 25 to 54: The O’Reilly Factor—427,000; The Kelly File—376,000; The Five—325,000; Hannity—312,000; Special Report with Bret Baier—304,000.