It’s been a great year for Fox News so far, and last week it got even better. The network ranked number one in prime time among every single channel in cable last week, beating powerhouses like ESPN — during Super Bowl week of all times.
According to Nielsen Media Research, between January 27 and February 2 Fox News prime time viewers surpassed those of any other network in your basic cable package. Their 2.3 million-strong audience beat both USA and ESPN, two networks consistently at the very top of the rankings.
Need some context? The other “big” cable networks, MSNBC and CNN, weren’t even in the same universe, coming in respective 21st and 29th places in prime time. MSNBC garnered 900,000 viewers in the same week, while CNN could only muster up a paltry 600,000.
Much of Fox’s success was fueled by the slew of high-profile political events taking place last week — events the other news networks apparently failed to capitalize upon. Fox’s State of the Union coverage and analysis was ranked highly, as was President Obama’s interview with Fox News reporter Bill O’Reilly on Super Bowl Sunday.
And then, of course, there was the Super Bowl itself. While it was Fox proper — not its news channel spinoff — that broadcast the actual game, Fox News’ pre-game coverage still earned a lot of attention from viewers.
All in all, it was the cable news network’s biggest week since the Boston Marathon bombings ten months ago — when millions of Americans were glued to their TV screens during the attacks and the ensuing chase of two terrorists throughout the Boston area. Clearly, Fox News can replicate the same success under much happier circumstances.
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