U.S. cable news networks: number of viewers October 2019

As of October 2019, Fox News was the most-watched network for the third consecutive year and continues to do well in terms of its prime time audience, with around 2.68 million primetime viewers in that month.

Performing well during the mid-evening prime time slot on cable television is the goal of any network that takes its ratings seriously. News networks Fox, CNN and MSNBC are engaged in a monthly battle to hit the top spot during prime time and draw in the most viewers during those precious evening hours.

What is prime time?

Prime time television is the time at which the audience peaks, and in the United States usually takes place between 8pm and 11pm. TV networks show their most sought after or successful programs during this time, and this slot is where advertisers like to spend their money in order to maximize the amount of viewers who will see their products. Programs such as Hannity and The Rachel Maddow Show which debate news coverage from a particular point of view draw in massive audiences each month, and contribute to the overall ratings of the network they belong to.

Why do ratings matter?

Ratings are important to TV networks because they are linked to advertising rates, and rising or falling ratings can affect what an advertiser will pay to secure a spot. They are used by networks to determine their position compared to competitors.

Leading cable news networks in the United States in October 2019, by number of primetime viewers

PrimetimeAged 25-54
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Release date

October 2019


United States

Survey time period

October 2019

Special properties

live + same day data

Supplementary notes

Data combined from separate channel reporting.

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Statistics on "Cable TV in the U.S."

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