Cable TV Audience
2006 Annual Report
Only Fox News is Growing
Only Fox News Is Growing
The overall prime time and daytime numbers, however, are deceiving, since all of the growth in viewership at the three main cable news operations was due to Fox News channel. The other channels actually saw declines in their median audience.
In prime time, Fox News’s median viewership rose by 9%. CNN and MSNBC had losses of 11% and 2% respectively.
In daytime, too, Fox News was responsible for most of the growth in cable; its viewership rose by 5%, while CNN recorded a loss of 7%. MSNBC also had good daytime performance, ending the year with a gain of 3%.
Introduced as a rival to CNN in 1996, Fox News barely competed with the cable news giant in its initial years. Between late 2000 and 2003, however, Fox News made dramatic gains to overtake not just MSNBC, but CNN as well. It emerged as the leader in the ratings race in April 2003. Since then, Fox News’s ratings success shows little sign of wearing off (see Previous Reports).