Top Ten Cable News Shows in the USA

List: Top Ten Cable News Shows in the USA

Date: December 2006

Source: Nielsen Media Research figures at

Base: Average audience figures reflect all persons ages 2 and up (P2+) in USA.

Notes: In 2006, Fox News was the dominant news channel in the USA, both in terms of overall audience and individual shows. In 2006, more than half the people watching cable news were watching Fox News. The mean audience for Fox News in prime time was 1.4 million in 2006 – more than triple the viewership of MSNBC (378,000) and almost double that of CNN (739,000). More than half (55%) of all viewers watching prime-time cable news in 2006 were tuned into Fox News. During the day, 54% of the viewers watching the three main cable news channels were tuned to Fox, again about double CNN and more than triple MSNBC. Fox News averaged 824,000 viewers, against 472,000 for CNN and 244,000 for MSNBC.

By program, Fox News had nine of the top 10 shows, according to Nielsen rankings. Only CNN’s Larry King broke the monopoly, coming at at No. 7. The ‘O’Reilly Factor’ was the most-watched show on cable news, averaging 2 million viewers a night.


ShowChannelAverage Audience (in 000s)
The O’Reilly FactorFox News2094
Hannity & ColmesFox News1526
On the Record w/ Greta Van SusteranFox News1322
The Fox Report w/ Shepard SmithFox News1317
Special Report w/ Brit HumeFox News1309
The O’Reilly Factor (repeat)Fox News1057
Larry King LiveCNN1027
The Big Story w/ John GibsonFox News979
Studio B w/ Shepard SmithFox News920
Your World w/ Neil CavutoFox News880

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