Cable channels clocked their highest ratings in years during the first quarter of 2017 on the heels of increased interest in President Donald Trump’s first months in office.
According to Nielsen Ratings released on Tuesday, Fox News had its highest-rated quarter ever, as shows like “Fox and Friends,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” and “Hannity” posted record-high ratings in the time slots they have long dominated.
CNN also had its most-watched first quarter in since the first quarter of 2003, when coverage in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq buoyed the network’s numbers.
And MSNBC registered its largest total audience in a number of key demographics, becoming the fastest-growing cable network and outpacing CNN in total viewers. Host Rachel Maddow finally bested her Fox News competitor in the 9 p.m. timeslot among the coveted 25-to-54 age demographic, while delivering the network’s highest ratings in the timeslot ever.
Both Fox and CNN highlighted interest in daytime ratings — Fox reported that it had its most daytime viewers ever, averaging 1.7 million viewers during the daytime programming, while CNN had its second-highest quarterly ratings in the daytime hours.
The increased ratings come as media outlets from major national newspapers to entertainment sites have seen their subscriptions and web traffic skyrocket following Trump’s election in November.
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