South Carolina Primary Winner: Fox News

Fox News Channel continues to score political ratings points, whether with Republican debates or the primaries and caucuses that continue to winnow the field.

The news net set a ratings record for a South Carolina primary, according to Fox News and based on Nielsen numbers.

Its primary coverage Saturday night (Feb. 20)—which saw Donald Trump solidify his front-runner status in early contests (2 out of 3, and Jeb Bush exit the race after coming in fourth—averaged 3.3 million viewers and 588,000 in the key 25-54 news demo.

Coverage was anchored by Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly, who have also been doing much of the heavy lifting (along with Chris Wallace), on the debates.

According to Nielsen, CNN was a distant second in viewers with 1.9 million, but neck and neck in the demo with 567,000. MSNBC was in third with 1 million viewers and 243,000 in the demo.

FNC was also tops in total viewers with its coverage of the Nevada caucus earlier in the day with 1.6 million viewers to CNN's 1.1 million. But CNN was tops in the demo with 297,000 to Fox's 225,000.

Fox was also tops in New Hampshire primary coverage.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.