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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 01, 2012

FOX News Channel Dominates Cable News World

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Nielsen Media Research has revealed that the FOX News Channel (FNC) has “reigned” over the cable news world for the entire decade, outpacing its tough competitiors CNN and MSNBC.

In addition, FNC viewership continues to outpace the combined viewership of both CNN and MSNBC, according to FNC officials. The report found that FNC's current 2012 to date primetime average beat CNN and MSNBC combined.

According to the Nielsen averages for January 2012, FNC has sustained a 147 percent advantage over CNN and 144 percent advantage over MSNBC in total day viewership. In primetime total viewers, FNC surpassed CNN by 131 percent and MSNBC by 142 percent. Under the category Adults 25-54, FNC beat CNN by 92 percent and MSNBC by 101 percent.

"We are extremely proud of the phenomenal achievement created by the hard work and talent of the FOX News Channel employees and recognize how difficult it is for a cable network to sustain this level of dominance for a decade,” said FOX News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, in a statement. “America has clearly embraced fair and balanced news."

With an average of 1,942,000 viewers in January 2012, FNC has also recorded 78 percent increase in primetime average since January 2002 when the average was 1,091,000. The cable major’s primetime ratings achieved in 2002 is more than what its immediate competitors are averaging today in 2012, according to FNC officials (841,000 for CNN and 801,000 for MSNBC).

 Among other significant feats achieved by FNC include the overall ranking as fifth operator, behind only ESPN (News - Alert), USA, History and TBS, when CNN and MSNBC were ranked 23rd and 27th respectively. The network also claimed nine out of the top ten programs dedicated to adults.

Meanwhile, the current buzz in the cable industry is that the country’s second largest cable company, Time Warner (News - Alert) Inc., is leading a $12 million round of funding into a social TV analytics start-up Bluefin Labs that specializes in analyzing tweets and Facebook (News - Alert) posts by people watching their favorite TV programs.

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Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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