This Explains a Lot
More people watched Fox News any given day or night in October than tuned in to CNN and MSNBC combined, according to Nielsen Media Research. By every metric, Fox News crushed its cable news rivals last month, continuing a long streak, by TVNewser's count: 202 consecutive months as the most-watched cable news network, 28 straight months as the No. 1 basic cable network during the day, and five consecutive months as top basic cable network in prime time. Fox News had all Top 5 rated cable news shows, led by Hannity, and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show finished sixth. The top-rated CNN show was Cuomo Prime Time, ranked No. 23 in cable news.
An average of 2.8 million people watched Fox News each night last month, Nielsen said, versus 1.58 million for MSNBC and CNN's 931,000 viewers. CNN edged out MSNBC among viewers aged 25 to 54, but Fox News easily won that demographic, too. October "was quite a newsy month, from Hurricane Michael, to coverage of bomb threats, the domestic terror attack in a Pittsburgh synagogue, and a 'migrant caravan' in the latter half of the month," TVNewser notes, but that doesn't explain why CNN ranked ninth in basic cable, behind The Hallmark Channel. As for Fox News, the network averaged more viewers overall last month than in October 2016, right before a presidential election.