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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ratings Are In For 2010: Fox Completely Dominates Cable News

The Wrap reports that Fox dominated cable news according to the 2010 Nielsen numbers taking the title of most watched for the ninth year in a row.

In fact, Fox not only beat CNN, MSNBC and HLN in average primetime and total viewers, but Fox had more than all of them combined for total viewers.

The ratings released show that Fox News averaged 2 million viewers in prime time and far outdistanced MSNBC (764,000), CNN (591,000) and HLN (444,000). (Total rounded- 1,799,000)

Fox owned the top 12 cable news shows in average total viewers and swept the top 10 among 25-54-year-olds (MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" came in 13th and 11th, respectively). Even the nightly repeat of the “O’Reilly Factor” averaged more viewers than MSNBC and CNN shows.

(Screen shot from TV Newser, who has the full document up here)

More from MediaIte:

According to Nielsen, the top five cable news programs in terms of total viewers and viewers 25-54 (the metric used by advertisers and considered the most important by networks) were all on Fox: The O’Reilly Factor (781,000 viewers 25-54); Hannity (585,000); Glenn Beck (572,000); On the Record (481,000); and The O’Reilly Factor repeat (447,000).

In terms of total viewers, Special Report joins the top five cable news shows, as host Bret Baier has taken the show to its highest ratings ever.

Fox’s dominance is demonstrated by its ranking across all of cable–coming in as the fourth highest-rated network in primetime (total viewers), right behind USA, ESPN, and TNT. MSNBC is ranked #28 in primetime, CNN came in at #32 and HLN was #37.

As Fox remains the power player in cable news, CNN’s year has been one of notable declines–Nielsen marking this CNN’s lowest-rated year in primetime (for both total viewers and viewers 25-54) in 14 years. For the full day, 2010 marks a tie for CNN’s worst year ever (viewers 25-54).

The numbers truly do speak for themselves about where more Americans prefer to get their news and their commentary from.