Fox News Leads Cable With State Of The Union Ratings

For President George W. Bush’s final State of the Union address, Fox News Channel was the cable news network of choice Monday night.

Fox News Channel attracted 4.48 million viewers for Bush’s address from 9 p.m. to 10:03 p.m. (ET), according to Nielsen Media Research live + same day data. That was more than CNN, with 2.69 million watchers on average, and MSNBC, with 1.18 million, combined.

Within the news demo, Fox News's edge was tighter on Jan. 28: the sector leader drew 1.41 million adults 25 to 54, versus 883,000 for CNN and 521,000 for MSNBC. 

In the subsequent analysis from 10:03-10:16 p.m. on Jan. 28, FNC garnered 4.44 million, including 1.38 million of the aforementioned demo; CNN had 2.36 million, with 772,000 of the news-target group; and MSNBC posted 1.41 million, with 530,000 adults 25 to 54.

Relative to the Democratic response from 10:16 p.m. through 10:26 p.m., FNC edged its competitors’ cume among total viewers with 3.35 million, compared to 1.98 million and 1.36 million for CNN and MSNBC, respectively. As far as the news demo, CNN’s total of 609,000 adults 25 to 54 and MSNBC’s 544,000 exceeded FNC’s 1.08 million.

Compared to Bush’s state of the union address last year, Fox News saw average viewership decline from 4.63 million for the speech from 9 p.m. to 10:03 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2007. Similarly, last year’s analysis segment from 10:03 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. recorded 4.58 million viewers, while the Democratic response from 10:15 p.m. to 10:24 p.m.that day drew 3.61 million.